A LEADING UK gritter manufacturer hopes to bring a handful of new jobs to Alloa following recent investment.

Econ Engineering, which manufactures more than 80 per cent of the winter maintenance and repair vehicles used on Britain's roads, is creating a £1.3million purpose-built service hub in the town.

The hub will service winter maintenance and road repair vehicles for councils and contractors.

It will also service gritters and other vehicles for customers across many of Scotland's local authorities and private sector highways contractors.

With an initial workforce of six specialist staff, Econ Scotland plans to make further new appointments over the coming months.

Jonathan Lupton, Econ operations director, said: "We are firmly committed to Scotland, which already accounts for over 30 per cent of Econ's turnover.

"With the launch of our Alloa operation we will be able to provide even better service levels and rapid turnaround times for our Scottish customers.

"This £1.3m investment in the new business and our state-of-the-art depot is a huge deal for us as a family-owned firm and signals the importance of Scotland to us as a business."

A fleet of 117 Econ winter maintenance vehicles has been deployed on a hire basis to 14 Scottish councils and two major trunk road contractors this autumn in preparation for winter.

Econ's new Scottish operation will ensure its team of skilled mobile engineers are on hand to service and repair vehicles with minimum down time.

Earlier this year the company celebrated its 50th year in business with a specially made, unique golden gritter which is currently touring the UK.

Jonathan added: "With our Econ Scotland service hub not only will we be helping to ensure that Scotland's roads are kept clear and safe during the winter.

"Over the coming months we will also be creating new jobs and making a positive impact on the local economy as we scale up for growth."