In the coming weeks, work will start on a multi-million-pound development for Inverness that will bring more than 100 new jobs to the city.
Any major investment and employment news for the area is always welcome, but when there is a good story behind the headlines it makes it all the more interesting.
Inverness Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a business breakfast event with Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands Care Homes, whose personal career path is both impressive and inspiring. Ron shared his story with a capacity audience; candidly sharing some of the challenges in the sector as well as setting out his strong ethos underpinning every aspect of how he ensures delivery of the highest standards of care.
The business was started when, as a young student, Ron grew frustrated at the lack of local care when he was looking after his elderly grandfather. The new enterprise began with one care facility in Buckie in 1993 and now Parklands operates eight homes in Moray and the Highlands, caring for almost 300 older people and employing about 600 staff. Each home is designed to exacting standards and finished to the highest quality. Sourcing fresh foodstuffs from local suppliers is a key aspect of the daily operation in each home as is the reliance on local businesses to service the day to day operation across the group.
In May, work started on the ninth care home, a £5 million facility in Fortrose that will provide 40 bedrooms. The next project is a £8.5 million flagship care hub for older people at Milton of Leys, including a 48-bed care home and 16 assisted living suites, as well as a day nursery for 20 children; an innovative first for the sector.
In addition, plans have been submitted to Moray Council for a new pharmacy in Aberlour which will provide pharmaceutical supplies to Parklands’ care homes as well as a community delivery service for outlying areas.
By 2020, the company will have invested almost £19 million over three years on new and extended care homes, creating many new jobs and bringing the number of people they employ in the area to around 800.
It’s been a remarkable journey for Ron, who has led the company with a focus on people first. As a result, the majority of Parklands’ staff have been with the organisation for ten years or more. The company was one of the first care home providers in Scotland to gain Investors in People Status and Ron was shortlisted for the Highland Business Leader of the Year title in 2018.
As an Inverness Chamber platinum partner, we are delighted to see Parklands’ sustained growth into one of the largest independent care providers in the north of Scotland. The substantial future investment plan will also make it one of the largest private sector employers in the area and provides a major vote of confidence for Inverness and the wider Highlands.
It looks like there are a few more chapters to be added to the story, which is good for the care sector, the local economy and our workforce.