Scotland business

Post box firm Machan Engineering voices fears for the future

A Scottish company which makes traditional red post boxes fears its version is under threat after orders dried up.

Machan Engineering is the only firm still making the cast iron variety.

The Denny-based company said it would normally expect an uplift in orders at this time of year because so many are usually damaged by fireworks.

However, it has no new orders. Royal Mail said it would continue to order the boxes as and when required.

Machan said it had been told that stainless steel versions were now being made in Newcastle.

The Scottish company has produced 50 of the classic cylindrical-type cast iron post boxes and 600 of the smaller rectangular lamp boxes in the past year.

Its last order for lamp boxes came just before Royal Mail was floated on the London Stock Exchange at the beginning of October.

The firm employs 10 people at its plant in Denny

Machan director Lisa MacDonald said: "Orders for lamp boxes usually carry on throughout the year and you would normally get one or two a week, but they've just stopped dead."

The small company employs 10 people, three of whom are dedicated to making the post boxes.

Ms MacDonald said other firms would be affected if there were no new orders for the boxes.

She said: "It's not just us - it would be the foundries, paint suppliers and the companies that make the nuts and the bolts."

Royal Mail spokeswoman Jennifer Bird said: "Royal Mail's arrangements for the manufacturer of cast iron post boxes remain in place.

"We will continue to place further orders for cast iron post boxes as and when required.

"We have needed to manufacture lamp boxes in stainless steel recently to ensure we meet our operational and customer requirements. However, we are continuing to manufacture pillar boxes in cast iron through our current arrangements."

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