£5m Score investment brings Buchan jobs joy

Score building renaming: Charles Ritchie and William Urquhart.
Score building renaming: Charles Ritchie and William Urquhart.

A Buchan engineering group has unveiled plans for major investment in the North-east.

Score Group’s £5million investment in its subsea and wellhead operations will lead to the creation of 200 jobs over the next five years.

Score currently has 30 employees in this division, but under the plans the number of workers in the field will increase to 200.

The expanding operation is to be based at the William Urquhart Building, which has been recently been named after the firm’s long-serving group director.

The building houses the Score team which delivers support services to the growing market of subsea oil and gas exploration, production and transmission.

Score Group plc chairman Charles Ritchie noted that it was a “testament to William’s hard work and dedication that the Group now has this unique facility” and that “we wanted to recognise his incredible contribution by naming the building after him”.

The official naming ceremony was held at the front of the building, in front of a gathering of William’s peers, where a red granite name plaque was unveiled with his and the new building’s name on it.

Commenting on the investment, Councillor Stuart Pratt said: “It’s great to see such a huge investment in the Buchan economy and one coming from a local company as well. It’s a demonstration in the confidence which the company has in Peterhead that, in spite of Score being an international operator with bases in many other countries, Scotland, and Buchan in particular, is where it wishes to invest.”

Councillor Stephen Smith added: “This is a huge investment by a local company and is very welcome indeed. It underlines what we already know about the resilience of the Buchan economy in terms of local employment, investment and companies.

“The town centre needs regeneration, and that will be much easier to do on the back of local industries being successful and providing employment. In that respect, Peterhead has a head start on other towns.”

Born on February 22, 1962, William Urquhart grew up in Hill of Mormond. He served his mechanical engineering apprenticeship, starting in 1978 at Grampian Tractors Limited in Maud, before joining up with Charles at Score UK in 1984. William is at the core of the operational activities of the Score team.

Never scared to throw himself into new challenges, William established himself as one of the Group’s most successful valve specialists, achieving many successes to the great benefit of the company and its customers and furthering the company’s valve management operations and strategies.

His unwavering commitment to developing others has also brought rewards for those individuals and the company. Some of the engineers William has coached and mentored over his career have themselves risen to great heights within the Score Group.

Always popular among his colleagues with his down-to-earth, fun-loving approach to life, William now champions this exciting new business area for the Score Group, passing on his lifetime’s knowledge and experience to the next generation of Score team members.

In 2002, William was promoted to the post of operations director of Score (Europe) Limited, a position he held for six years before being appointed deputy managing director. His appointment to the post of managing director of Score Subsea and Wellhead Limited followed when the company was set up in 2008.

While his focus is now on Subsea opportunities, William retains a very strong connection with the operations of the organisation and can often be seen helping others, including the youngest apprentices with their latest challenges. What little time William spends away from work, he likes to spend it with his wife Karen and their family.

Mr Ritchie added: “This ceremony is a recognition of William Urquhart’s contribution to the Score Group of companies.

“He is the managing director of our developing subsea business Score Subsea and Wellhead Limited. William also runs with special projects such as our Welbuk valve, our seals company and a newly acquired transmission company, Score Transmission Services Limited.

Commenting, William said: “This is a major surprise, I had no idea it was going to happen. It shows the staff can keep a secret!

“I’m very overwhelmed. Working here isn’t a one-man effort, it’s a team effort.

“I would like to thank Charles for this recognition.”