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RSE makes landmark acquisition of historic engineering brand

  • RSE makes landmark acquisition of historic engineering brand

About the entity

RSE (Ross-shire Engineering)
A specialist engineering service company, RSE (Ross-shire Engineering) provide modular build projects in controlled environments, limiting environmental and HSE risk to our clients, with an innovative approach to water treatment.


RSE has today announced the acquisition of Blackburn Starling & Co Ltd, one of the UK’s oldest engineering companies.

Established in Nottingham in 1870, in the early 1900s the Blackburn & Starling reputation was built on electrical lighting switchboard contracts for London’s West End theatres. Today, the company is one of the UK’s largest designers and manufacturers of low and high voltage switchboards and control systems, operating from a 4.5-acre purpose-built factory in central Nottingham.

RSE’s Managing Director Allan Dallas has heralded the deal as a pivotal move in establishing the company as the UK’s leading MEICA contractor to the Water Treatment & Water Recycling market:

“When added to previous acquired businesses Saftronics and TCS, the Blackburn Starling deal establishes RSE as the largest control systems capability in the UK market. The additional technical skills and manufacturing capacity will enable RSE to fulfil demand for its innovative modular treatment plants, whilst opening up new doors to customers in England and Wales.

The deal will see RSE take a majority share in the business, backing a management buyout led by Operations Director, Jason Smith. Smith commented:

“The Blackburn Starling brand has an amazing heritage, and many of our 100+ staff have served the company for multiple years. We are expecting the transition into RSE to create new opportunities to grow the business and create opportunity for our employees.

“Whilst keeping the brand and heritage of the company intact, I’m excited to more closely integrate with the RSE teams throughout the country. We believe RSE’s modular technology offering is game changing in the UK water sector, which was the management’s primary attraction to supporting the acquisition.”

RSE is owned by Envoy & Partners Ltd whose founders are building a portfolio of industrial service groups, of which RSE is attracting significant investment. Envoy’s CEO Iain MacGregor commented that Blackburn Starling was the third of four acquisitions lined up for RSE in the current year, which should take the company to over £130 Million in revenue. The owners plan to build a specialist technology contractor to the UK water sector with revenues exceeding £250 Million.

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