The North's leading window manufacturer is teaming up with the world's glass technology leader to produce windows with a 175 per cent increase in thermal efficiency.

Cairngorm Windows, which employs 70 people at its Inverness complex, sees jobs being sustained and created by an exclusive link-up with Pilkington Glass, which has manufacturing operations in 24 countries on five continents.

"It's a great opportunity for us -- and for our clients", said David Dowling, managing director of Cairngorm."We're delighted with the fact that Pilkington approached us with the suggestion that we work together. Discussions have now come to fruition and we will now be using their glass in our windows and we see significant growth potential.

"It actually completes a family circle -- for my grandfather William Gray started in the glass industry with Pilkington in Glasgow after the Second World War and left them in 1953 to come north and start up our company in what was then Duff Street, Inverness.

"Now 58 years later we're again involved with Pilkington, which is extremely satisfying -- though Cairngorm remains 100 per cent a family firm."

Mr Dowling added:"Our windows already have the top accreditation in energy efficiency -- and Pilkington have developed the most environmentally-friendly glass, which saves money on heating bills.

"As a result of this linkup, all our windows will have the UK's highest rating -- a benefit we will pass on to customers at no extra cost. We anticipate this leading to sales growth and more jobs."

Stephen Lane, (title), of Pilkington Glass, said:"I was extremely pleased to visit Inverness to conclude the deal. We sought out Cairngorm Windows on the basis of their outstanding quality. By coming together in this way, Cairngorm are able to offer North of Scotland customers the best windows ever, reducing the amount of lost energy by 90 per cent."

This linkup comes on the heels of Cairngorm launching a new range of solar photovoltaic panels for the roofs of homes, factories and offices.The response has been impressive with enquiries from the Western Isles to Stonehaven.

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