One Thursday every month we are taking a look back through STEP’s archives at business successes of the past.
This month we are taking a look into the history of one of our longest-standing Tenants.
Established in 1987 by Steven Barrett and Pat Blashill, partners in the business to this day, and STEP tenants since 1988, Stirling Surveys has been producing map guides for walkers, cyclists and everyone who enjoys the outdoors for over three decades.
In 1988 the company occupied unit 54 with 321 sq. ft. In 1991 Cartographer David Barbour joined the team becoming a partner in the business.
In 1993 the company was focused on expanding their reprographics capacity so moved to unit 87 with 642 sq ft, effectively doubling their size to allow expansion. The company grew and soon after expanded the team, going from three to five.
In 1999 the company celebrated over a decade in business by winning a major contract for preparing, marketing, publishing and distributing 11 maps covering a new project called ‘The Kingdom of Fife Millennium Cycle Ways’. The maps covered over 300 miles of cycle routes including quiet country lanes, forest tracks, old disused railway lines and commuter routes in towns throughout the Kingdom of Fife.
Over the next two decades, Stirling Surveys went from strength to strength not only publishing maps under their own brand – Footprint – but producing maps, including orienteering maps, for a wide range of clients.
The company’s work has won several UK and international awards, including the prestigious British Cartographic Society Design Award, which they have been awarded four times and the British Orienteering Silva Trophy which they have been awarded over six times.
Since 2010, the business has concentrated on core publishing activities, continuing to develop their map brand, Footprint and their content style.
In 2013 with times changing, technology advancing and publishing not taking up as much floor space as it used to, the company decided to downsize to unit 113 with 400 sq ft. This allowed a modern workplace approach introducing flexible working from home and maximised space utilisation within their unit.
In 2020 with new market conditions under COVID and more staff working from home as default, the company downsized again moving to unit 70 with 300 sq. ft
Today Stirling Surveys still produce high-quality map guides offering a unique combination of quality, legibility, ease of use and value for money.
Many of their maps are now published on waterproof paper, including their best-selling map-guide of the West Highland Way, between Glasgow and Fort William, Scotland.