One hundred new jobs are expected to be created in the central belt this year thanks to an Ayrshire businessman.

It comes after Derek Pierce, managing director of J&D Pierce, secured a long-term subcontract with Finnish firm Konecranes to take over their East Kilbride based operation.

Last year, Konecranes warned that they needed to address “the lack of profitability” at the College Milton site in East Kilbride and were looking to “protect (the company’s) long-term future”.

However, J&D Pierce have agreed to purchase the 300,000 square foot plant along with 14 acres of yard space.

Recruitment will soon take place for both manufacturing and office staff and it is hoped all roles will be filled by the end of the year.

J&D Pierce (Contracts) Ltd is a 45-year-old Ayrshire company.

It started as a one man business and has grown steadily throughout the years.

Since moving to their existing site in Glengarnock in 1994 they have expanded and grown the site into a modern 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

The facility employs around 420 people making it one of the largest structural steelwork businesses in the UK.