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Sparkling future for Laings after bank deal

30th March 2012

One of Scotland’s most established jewellers is to expand its business operations, creating 25 new jobs, after agreeing a financial deal with Clydesdale Bank.

Laings of Glasgow, which was founded in 1840 and operates three stores in the city’s Argyll Arcade – two trading under Laings of Glasgow and one trading as Robert Stewart - has announced plans to open five further Robert Stewart stores across Scotland and the north of England over the next five years.

After securing financial support from Clydesdale Bank, the family-run firm opened its new Robert Stewart store in Argyll Arcade in December last year.  The firm’s Directors named the new store after an established Glasgow jewellery business originally set up in the city in 1835, and purchased by the Laing family in 1989.

Once complete, the expansion of the Robert Stewart brand is expected to  see Laings of Glasgow increase its turnover by approximately £5 million per year.  The new stores will also provide jobs for up to 25 people.

Clydesdale Bank, which has been supporting Laings of Glasgow since 2008, provided facilities to enable the business to purchase the new Argyll Arcade store through its Investing for Growth strategy – an initiative that helps successful firms to grow and develop.

Director of Laings of Glasgow, Joe Walsh, runs the business in partnership with his father in law Stuart Laing, wife Wendy Laing and Gillian Miller.

Joe said: “Our new Robert Stewart store has been a huge success so far, and we have received very positive feedback from the Glasgow public about the quality of products we have on offer there.

“Robert Stewart is a rather different business model to Laings of Glasgow, but with our family’s wealth of experience in the jewellery industry, we are confident that we can expand the brand significantly.  There is a growing demand across the UK for high quality diamonds at reasonable prices – and that is just what Robert Stewart aims to provide.  Our intention is to open new stores across Scotland and  the north of England, in the first instance as these are markets we are familiar with as a business.

“Clydesdale Bank has played a key role in helping us to get to where we are today.  They have been incredibly quick to react, and we are pleased to say that we have a good, open relationship with members of the team there.  We very much look forward to working in partnership with the Bank as we roll out our expansion plans over the next five years.”

Robert Gibson, Managing Partner of Clydesdale Bank’s Glasgow Financial Solutions Centre, said:  “As a sixth generation family business, Laings of Glasgow is a highly regarded name in Scotland, which is associated with quality and excellent customer care.

“The firm’s new focus on its Robert Stewart brand is an exciting development, and Clydesdale Bank is pleased to be supporting  their expansion plans. We  look forward to continuing to work  with Joe, Stuart, Wendy and Gillian over the coming years.”

With a network of 16 Financial Solutions Centres in Scotland and 72 across the UK, Clydesdale Bank’s local banking model ensures that every pound deposited in the area is reinvested back into the local economy in the form of lending to Scottish businesses.

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