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Meet the Scottish midmarket firms with ambition to spare

Throughout 2017, LDC is searching the entrepreneurial heartlands of Scotland, England and Wales as part of its Backing Business Ambition tour, to uncover and showcase Britain's most inspiring and ambitious businesses.

Scotland's private sector is in the midst of a growth spurt. In recent months, the nation's manufacturing and services output jumped to its highest level since 2014, according to Bank of Scotland data.

Employment is also at a record high, as businesses shrug off the ongoing economic uncertainty and pursue their growth plans.

The businesses featured in the latest leg of LDC's Backing Business Ambition tour are among Scotland's most ambitious, helping to create jobs and wealth in Scotland. Many hail from in and around Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland's economic epicentres.

For some, location is everything. Whisky packaging specialist McLaren Packaging has maintained a laser focus on the local marketplace, selling to the top whisky producers on the company's doorstep.

“We're ideally situated in the central belt of Scotland, within an hour's drive of most of the major bottling halls,” says Michael McLaren. “We're one of the largest employers in the area.”

For software group Altia-ABM, geography matters less. The business, which sells to police forces and governments all over the world, is instead proving that Scottish firms have global ambitions -although the pool of talented local graduates is helpful, says boss Ian Watson.

Edge Testing, which makes sure new software is released without bugs, is also expanding aggressively. It has “as many clients south of the border as we do in Scotland,” says Brian Ferrie, the co-founder.

For CMS Window Systems, which provides energy-efficient windows, doors and curtain walling solutions across a wide range of sectors including commercial construction, social housing, new build housing and trade, it's the firm's sustainability ethos that has made a difference. “From day one we have made a sustained effort to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability is fundamental to every part of our business.”

Backing Business Ambition 2017