On the road to bigger fleet and workforce

Stewart MacLennan, managing director and owner of MacLennan Distribution, and Eric Walton, founder and previous owner of Waltons of Oban. Photograph: Elaine Livingstone.

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A distribution company once based on Tiree is about to become one of Oban’s biggest employers.

MacLennan Distribution, formerly known as MacLennan Motors, is taking on new staff, a new fleet and new premises with ambitious future plans.

After moving base to Oban in 2020, newly-named MacLennan Distribution is now in the process of taking over Waltons of Oban.

With this acquisition, taking place on April 1, it will become one of the largest employers in Oban with more than 40 staff.

Starting out as a small, family-run business in 1978, MacLennan Distribution has grown over the years to become one of the most respected freight companies in the west of Scotland.

Taking on Waltons also means it will have the biggest vehicle fleet of any logistics company in the area.

Managing director and owner of MacLennan Distribution Stewart MacLennan said: ‘We are delighted to announce this expansion and development of our company, which will allow us to better support those living and working in Oban and the surrounding islands.

‘From our inception as a company, the local community has been at the heart of everything we seek to achieve.

‘Now, as one of the largest employers in Oban, we are doubling down on that commitment by providing a variety of job opportunities to local people.

‘The increase in the size of our fleet also allows us to provide an even more reliable and frequent service to our customers throughout the west coast of Scotland and beyond.

‘As anyone living in the Highlands and Islands knows, delivery services are not just a luxury, they’re a lifeline that allows rural communities to continue to operate.’

Eric Walton, founder and previous owner of Waltons of Oban, said he was proud of what his company had provided for 20 years and was relieved its work would continue long after his retirement under the ownership of MacLennan Distribution.

‘I have every confidence our legacy will continue and thrive, bringing food to the islands and remote areas of Argyll and Lochaber that many suppliers won’t go to. Securing the future of all our 19 staff, under local ownership, and continuing our Wiltshire Farm Foods meal delivery service are perhaps the most satisfying of all,’ he said.

From its new Oban depot, MacLennan Distribution will run daily services to the islands of Tiree, Coll, Colonsay, Mull and Iona.

From the Waltons depot, MacLennan Distribution will continue the multi-temperature food distribution service to Mull, Iona, Islay, Jura and Bute and all areas of Argyll and Lochaber.

It will also keep distributing fresh food produced in Argyll to Glasgow, Edinburgh and nationwide.

A new focus will be delivering products from small independent makers and companies from around Argyll and the islands to retailers across Scotland.

MacLennan Distribution will also carry on with the Tesco.com islands home delivery service.