A former Aberdeen offshore worker has been having a blast since spotting a gap in the market 10 years ago.
Dominic Dalgarno founded Highland Blast in 2013, started with a mobile service, specialising in farming machinery, trailers and building surface reinstatement.
Since then, the business has moved on to add stone and timber blast cleaning to its services.
The firm also offers protective coating, inspections and powder coatings, racking up an “excellent reputation” for its quality.
Now the Glenmoriston business has completed its most high profile job yet – working on Inverness Castle as part of a £30 million transformation.
Having a Highland Blast
While working offshore, Dominic created Highland Blast due to operating on a self-employed contract.
Once he accidentally came across the idea of sandblasting, his research led him to a gap in the market.
He said: “I was renting a house in Caithness from a farmer and he spotted the name of my company on mail.
“He asked if I did sandblasting and I explained the situation to him. After a couple of conversations I started to do my research.
“I went online and had a look but couldn’t see anything north of Aberdeen. So I decided to invest in blast equipment.”
Dominic is now looking to future expansion plans and adding staff numbers in order to deal with growth.
He added: “There’s been more than enough work to keep it going and there’s lots of room to grow.
“We’ve had the Glenmoriston yard for three or four years now – it’s still very much a work in progress. It’s all about finding the right people to keep it moving forward.
“A lot of folk here still go offshore as well so we’re looking at adding younger guys and training them up ourselves.”
Inverness Castle contract ‘a big deal’
Highland Blast has added 8,600 sq ft of concrete texturing to the historical building.
The new-look castle is on schedule and on budget to open its doors by the summer of 2025.
Dominic said it was a big deal for his business to be able to make a contribution to the castle’s return to glory.
Highland Blast dealt with concrete texturing in order to keep it “in uniform” with rest of the £30 million project.
Dominic said: “It’s a very high profile gig, so it was a big deal for us to get the job.
“People love historical buildings and monuments and there’s always plenty of reaction on social media. It’s great to be able to say we were a part of it.
“I’d like to think we’re one of the main sandblasting companies in the area so this gave me some reaffirmation.
“There were two of us on the job so I’m very happy to have completed it and to be able to put a bit of self promotion out there.”
The firm travels across mainland Scotland and even offers mobile sandblasting in islands including Shetland and Islay.