2011 marks the 140th anniversary of FTSE 100 engineering company, The Weir Group PLC.
It was in 1871 that brothers George and James Weir set up the engineering firm of G & J Weir and joined the booming industrial scene in the west of Scotland at the height of the great Victorian era of industrial innovation.
One of those innovations was the celebrated direct-acting feed pump which was crucial to the development of steam ships – and particularly Clyde-built steam ships –at that time.
Although recognised worldwide as a designer and manufacturer of pumps and valves, Weir has operated in many markets. Over its 140 year history, it has built cars and buses, constructed prefabricated housing, oil pipelines, desalination plants and been involved in the development of the precursor to the helicopter.
Today Weir’s global footprint covers over 70 countries employing over 11,000 people with a focus on the minerals, oil & gas and power sectors with over 40 per cent of its 2009 annual revenue coming from the key emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Africa and South America.
Weir chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin said:
“Although most of the Group’s profit is now generated from outside of Scotland, we are proud to recognise and celebrate our engineering heritage. Weir is almost the last of a long list of notable companies established in the 19th century to retain its independence.“
Lord Weir, great grandson of founding brother James Weir, said:
“I am delighted that Weir has retained its independence for 140 years. Far too many independent businesses have been lost to Scotland and far too few of significance have been created in recent years.
There is a proud history behind Weir with plenty of examples of what to do and a few of what not to do. The business is in good hands and I hope it continues to flourish for many years to come”