AN award-winning Scottish electrical firm plans to expand its workforce by almost 200 in the next five years.

NES (North Electrical Services) Ltd, based in Inverness and Elgin, plans to increase staff from 60 to 250.

The company expects the new jobs to help increase turnover from between £3 million-£4m to around £12m-£15m.

Among the growth plans are expanding into the central belt and targeting business in sectors such as energy and social housing.

Since setting up in 2012, the company has quadrupled its staff and it has added eight new workers this year so far, including four apprentice electricians – taking the total number of apprentices to 15.

NES managing director Kenny Duncan said widening its Scottish presence marks a natural progression for the company.

“There are still opportunities for us to grow in the north and north east, but we also feel we can pursue other areas, like the central belt, and other sectors, such as energy and social housing.

“If it goes as we expect it to go over the next 4-5 years we will quadruple the existing workforce and seek new projects we feel we’re well suited to.

“However, we will continue to be heavily focused on apprentices and people development which has been very successful for us.”

NES’s progress has been praised by Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry, who said: “NES is a great success story, growing from a small company to one with 60 employees and with ambitious plans to develop significantly in the next five years.

“The fact that growth has been driven by a desire to create opportunities for young people and on staff development makes the achieved and planned progress even more commendable.”

NES’s workforce is presently around 100 with the addition of contract workers as it completes a major contract for Norbord, Inverness.

It is also engaged in projects at Cauldeen School in Inverness, the new £100m Macallan distillery in Moray and at SGL Carbon Fibers Ltd in Ross-shire.

Kirsty Bulloch, who has recently been appointed business development manager, is to assist in a more proactive approach to secure new work.

NES’s commitment to safety and developing new staff has seen it win prestigious awards in successive years from Select, the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, which represents more than 1250 companies, 15,000 electricians and 3500 apprentices.

NES also picked up the award for Best Electrical Safety Project in 2016, having won the Best Use of Training category in 2015.

NES’s services include industrial and commercial electrical installation and maintenance works, control and instrumentation, electric motor repair, overhaul and rewinding for clients including schools, offices, commercial premises, distilleries and fish processing plants.

Its workforce includes electricians, project engineers, estimators and a full-time health and safety manager.

The electrical firm was founded in 2012 with a team of 14, with a motor repair workshop in a small unit in Elgin, and it opened a second office in Inverness soon after that.

NES launched its High Performing People personal development programme in 2015.