Glenrothes cable network company marks 50 years

They are an invisible, but essential, part of everyone’s life – and they are made right here in Glenrothes.

Ian Wilkie: “We continue to invest in Glenrothes – in new products, new equipment and also in our people.”
Ian Wilkie: “We continue to invest in Glenrothes – in new products, new equipment and also in our people.”

Few people give a thought to the connections and cables which allow us to communicate around the world, watch smart TVs, make bank transfers online, store valuable data, run hospitals and schools.

But as the manufacturing plant of Leviton Network Solutions Europe in Glenrothes celebrates 50 years, it’s a time for reflection and looking to the future.

History

This local company has been in business for half a century and has marked the anniversary by giving back to the community

Ian Wilkie, managing director of Leviton’s UK business since 2016, said the company – remembered locally by many as Brand-Rex, a name it held from its inception in 1972 until 2018 – is one of two manufacturing sites in the UK.

Leviton bought out the company in 2015, and itself has a long history, founded in 1906 in New York to make gas mantles for lighting.

The company today

Today the Glenrothes plant employs over 200 people and has a global customer base, offering cabling and connectivity systems for data networks used in almost every walk of life.

From hospital patient scans to global sporting events – this Glenrothes company provides the road system for the invisible data highway

The manufacturing plant at Glenrothes makes copper and fibre optic cables used for many networks – including beaming previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games out to the world!

“If there are computers on desks going into wall outlets and cables in offices under the floors then they could have been made here,” Ian said. “It’s invisible but essential infrastructure carrying information for everything from airport traffic control to banking to vast cloud computers.

Carbon neutral

The plant became carbon neutral in 2011 – ahead of its time. Not only did it look to cut down on energy consumption and raw materials – no easy task when some parts are imported and many products exported – but also strived to ensure that where it couldn’t cut back it gave back, by supporting environmental projects.

It’s been so successful that the US parent company is using the Fife experience in its global sustainability plans.

Celebrations

As part of the half-century, Leviton is forging long-term alliances with the local community. Leviton is supporting the Muirhead Outreach Project, a Glenrothes-based charity that works with young people and their families to keep them together through difficult times. Leviton is supporting Auchmuty High School with the Developing Young Workforce initiative. The company has sponsored a school to build an electric car for a national competition. As part of their ongoing commitment to keep plastic pellets out of the ocean, staff are taking part in the Great Nurdle Hunt to comb beaches for plastic pellets that harm ocean wildlife.

Despite the challenges of recent events – new fire regulations affecting manufacture, Brexit affecting exports, COVID, staffing, global supply issues and soaring energy costs, Ian says the business is strong and has an exciting future.

“We continue to invest in Glenrothes – in new products, new equipment and also in our people.”