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group of staff from Malakoff Limited standing on boat under construction


Malakoff Limited has been awarded a £115,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

Two people standing in front of boat being constructed at Malakoff Limited, Shetland

Support during COVID-19

Malakoff has a long history of providing marine engineering services to Shetland and the company can trace its roots back to the early 1900s. The present-day company, Malakoff Limited is a leading engineering and fabrication contractor in Shetland, and one of Shetland’s major private employers with approx. 93 staff.

Malakoff is a key supplier to many businesses within Shetland and Orkney providing a range of services which include slipway and jetty maintenance, welding and fabrication, coatings, engineering, diving and other supporting services.

Through these services, Malakoff provides critical support to Shetland’s key sectors – oil and gas, fisheries and aquaculture as well as to the Shetland Islands Council’s inter-island ferry services.

COVID-19 had an immediate impact on the business. Lockdown resulted in a significant downturn in work and the company had to furlough most staff. However, within a short space of time they had approximately 40% of the workforce back under the essential worker scheme (category 2). As the various restrictions have eased, the company now has 90% of their staff back at work.

As a result of COVID-19, the company is forecasting a dramatic decrease in turnover this year. Malakoff has also had to adapt to the pressure of working in lockdown with revised working practices such as teams never meeting in person and new risk assessments. This has all been carried out with a reduced management team and no extra premium to sales to cover the additional costs. However, the company has experienced strong customer loyalty which has made it worthwhile. 

The grant approved by HIE will provide vital working capital for the company as they operate in challenging and uncertain market conditions.

Dougie Stevenson, managing director at Malakoff says: “The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund award along with the furlough scheme have been a godsend for us. Without this it’s doubtful that we would have survived and certainly we would not have been at a level where we currently are employing 90% of our original staff. We are really grateful to HIE for managing the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund applications under a very strict timescale.”

As a HIE account managed business, Malakoff has also been supported by HIE’s Shetland team.

Due to the loss of turnover as a result of Covid19 and the significant operational and staffing overheads it must cover to maintain the business, HIE converted £40,000 of an existing training grant into working capital funding. This additional support will further improve the company’s ability to scale operations back up during these market conditions and retain more jobs in the local community.

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was managed by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies on behalf of Scottish Government. There was a high demand for the fund which received more than 5,000 applications Scotland-wide. Grants totalling almost £20m have been approved by HIE to 372 businesses across the Highlands and Islands.

A full list of companies to be awarded a grant as part of this funding programmes has now been published on the Scottish Enterprise website.

The PERF award along with the furlough scheme have been a godsend for us. Without these it’s doubtful that we would have survived
Dougie Stevenson, Managing director, Malakoff

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