Christmas has come early for an Alexandria firm - after they received a financial boost from a government grants scheme.

Family-run Mclaggan Smith Mugs have produced a range of decorative ceramic baubles after getting a helping hand from Business Gateway which allowed them to make improvements to the way they run their firm.

They employ 22 locals, and supply stores including John Lewis, the hotel at the Gleneagles resort, as well as independent gift shops.

Business Gateway was able to give them a hand with improving digital business skills training, market research reports and an introduction to Scottish Enterprise who provided a grant to further develop their new product line.

Their new festive decorations are emblazoned with designs by world-renowned designers and artists including Orla Kiely and Sir Quentin Blake.

Stuart Williams, marketing manager at Mclaggan, said: “The Business Gateway team gave us operational and logistical support and advised us of applicable grants, including a number of grants from West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) which allowed us to make savings, improve the layout of our premises and invest in specialist printing equipment to facilitate the production of baubles.

“Like many businesses in Scotland, we are operating in a difficult retail environment and were keen to develop a robust growth strategy to ensure our continued success. Business Gateway has been integral to this process, providing valuable advice and introductions as we prepared to diversify our range.”

Jane Murray, business adviser at Business Gateway West Dunbartonshire, added: “Its been a pleasure to see Mclaggan launch this latest line of fantastic products.”

See for more information.