Welcome to the history of STEP

– Since 1983 –


When we started in 1983 we wanted to build more than just an office block, business park or commercial property.

We wanted to build a community of businesses where companies could start, grow and lean on each other in a supportive environment.

Unlike other landlords, we use what profit we have to offer additional services at competitive prices to help businesses in Central Scotland grow. 


Today STEP remains one of the largest business landlords in Stirling, offering flexible, low-cost property for SME’s with the added benefit of Business Support.

From the industrial revolution to the introduction of the Internet, the Euro, GDPR and now Brexit, STEP has always been the ‘go-to’ organisation in Stirling for SME’s to start, grow and overcome any business challenge.

Brexit – Training

31st January 2020

In preparation for the big changes that Brexit brought to businesses STEP hosted and led various be prepared for Brexit events.

The Noughties and The Twenty-tens

31st December 2019

Kildean Business and Enterprise Hub Opens

1st August 2018

Kildean Business and Enterprise Hub Opens

In 2018 renovation of the STEP building at the new Kildean Business and Enterprise Hub, formerly the Kildean Hospital, was completed. The site offers affordable rent and flexible leases to start-ups or small businesses. Once again, this size of offices was highly popular with nine out of twelve offices being filled on opening.

GDPR – Training

27th April 2016

General Data Protection Regulations’s introduced in 2016, brought about many problems for businesses. STEP introduced regular GDPR events to train businesses in how to comply.


7th February 2016

In February 2016 Business Gateway launched Digital Boost to support businesses looking to improve their digital knowledge. This replaced STEP’s need for a Digital Academy and all digital training is now offered through the Digital Boost programme.

A Digital World

31st December 2009

Phase 9 – STEP 2000

11th September 2000

In November 2000 Construction was completed on Phase 9 dubbed STEP 2000 creating a further 13 units within the park. The old boiler house was also demolished and a new office block was created in its place now known as the Commercial Centre.

Business Gateway Arrives

1st April 2000

In 2000 Small Business Gateway, or Business Gateway as we know it today, was introduced by Scottish Enterprise, which recognised the growth potential in providing Business Support services to SME’s Scotland-wide. A consortium made up of STEP, Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust and Clackmannanshire Enterprise won the first three-year contract to deliver Business Support in the area. STEP already delivering business support named business counselling continues this service under the new name of Business Gateway and still does today.

The Introduction of the Euro – Training

9th November 1999

In preparation for the introduction of the Euro STEP hosted a number of key events ensuring businesses were prepared.

STEP Business Education Centre IT Suite Opens

3rd January 1997

In 1997 to prepare for the millennium, SME’s were finding their business growth restricted, due to a lack of IT and digital skills, so STEP opened a training centre dedicated to increasing digital business skills. The STEP Business Education Centre IT suites trained in all things IT and digital, from getting to know your hardware, to software skills and advanced

Room to Grow

31st December 1996

Enterprise House Opens

1st October 1995

Enterprise House Opens

Due to continuing demand for business premises, in 1995, STEP opened Enterprise House, a third site of office space, yet again the demand was so high that the site was full within eight months of opening its doors.

Phase 8

12th December 1993

In December 1993 construction began on Phase 8, creating a further 16 units at the park.

Rural Roadshows

10th April 1991

STEP has always been dedicated to supporting rural businesses as well as their urban counterparts. In 1991 we first launched our rural roadshow offering 1-2-1 business advice meetings with a specialist.

Stirling Business Centre Opens

1st February 1991

In 1990, with Stirling Enterprise Park at full capacity of 81 thriving businesses, STEP, in partnership with Stirling Enterprise Economic Development Company (SEEDCO), set out to open the city centre ‘Stirling Business Centre’, SBC Ltd, with 47 modern office spaces. Demand was so high that the site was 75% full, on the opening day in February 1991.

Meeting Space is Official

6th August 1990

Meeting Space is Official

Phase 7, Venue Hire officially was opened by Ray Knowland, Managing Director, British Petroleum Co plc in August 1990.

Phase 7 – Meeting Space

4th April 1990

In April 1990 work was complete on Phase 7 and what was dubbed the ‘Enterprise Suite’ providing training and meeting space.

The Pioneer Years

31st October 1989

Once a thriving carpet factory, the John Player Building nearly didn’t make it through World War 2. A German bomber dropped a landmine, just missing the factory and hitting the old King’s Park football ground. One of the first of its kind, STEP’s goal was to ‘help grow the environment for growth and enterprise in Stirling’. Offering low-cost business premises, with the unique concept of offering free Business Support services, the opening of the site attracted royalty.

Phase 4 & 5

1st September 1989

In 1989 works began on Phase 4 & 5 of Stirling Enterprise Park. British Gas plc interested in being located in the new place to be in Stirling, they rented a small part of the complex and developed it to meet their own needs. Stirling Heatsave Group also developed a space of 10,000 sq ft of the building to create accommodation for training, primarily to assist unemployed people back into employment.

Phase 6

11th April 1989

Late 1989 Phase 6 of the park was complete as works finished on a 5,800 sq ft unit to house Central FM.

Phase 3

20th July 1988

Phase 3

In 1988 Phase 3 was officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles).

Phase 3

4th December 1986

In December 1986 work began on Phase 3 of Stirling Enterprise Park creating a further 31 business units.

Phase 2: A Royal Visit

3rd August 1986

Phase 2: A Royal Visit

Being one of the first of its kind, STEP’s goal was to ‘help grow the environment for growth and enterprise in Stirling’. Offering low-cost business premises, with the unique concept of offering free Business Support services, on the completion of Phase 2 the opening of the site attracted royalty being officially opened by HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.

Stirling Enterprise Park Officially Opens

1st January 1986

In January 1985 Stirling Enterprise Park was officially opened by Sir David Murray. In the same month construction began on Phase 2 to convert a third of the main factory area in to 38 units.

A new home for businesses

1st March 1984

A new home for businesses

In March 1984 STEP moved into the John Player Factory and began works on Phase 1 of converting the factory to suitable business space. This involved refurbishing the front block into 18 offices.

STEP was founded

1st November 1983

In 1983, a chapter of industrial history ended as John Player & Sons cigarette factory, originally opened in 1953, closed its doors in Stirling. Central Region Industry and Business Park Trust Ltd, known today as STEP was formed in November 1983,

A life before STEP

1st October 1983

John Player Factory Closes

7th April 1983

In 1983, the John Player Factory was closed. Having this planned closure in mind the ‘Players Working Group’ was established the year before (1982) to agree and take forward the subdivision of the factory into small units. In 1983 Imperial Tobacco, owners of JP & Sons officially gifted the land, building and £400k to adapt the building.  

John Player and Sons

11th January 1955

In 1955 the British American Tobacco Company sold the factory for £110,000 to the Imperial Tobacco Company and became known as the John Player and Sons Cigarette Company. The following year (1956) the factory began production of 156,000,000 cigarettes per week.

British American Tobacco Company

1st December 1951

In the 1950’s AF Stoddard, whilst a very successful company found itself facing new challenges. New import restrictions in its primary foreign market, Austraila and the need to brace itself for the changes associated with Britain joining the European Common Market meant the company sold some o fit’s assets. The Forthbank Carpet Works was then sold to the British American Tobacco Campany for £100,000 and adapted into a cigarette factory.  

AF Stoddard & Co Ltd

30th November 1933

In November 1933 the factory Caledonaina Carpets went into liquidation and the factory was taken over by AF Stoddard & Co Ltd. The factory remained locally known at the Forthbank Carpet Works.

Forthbank Carpet Works

7th November 1898

Forthbank Carpet Works

In the factory was bought by the Caledonian Carpet Company for £10,0000. The factory became locally known as the Forthbank Carpet Works.

Carpet Manufacturer Opened

2nd February 1890

In the same year that Ellis Island, New York was designated as an immigration station, James Sinclair and Co opened a carpet manufacturer at Stirling Enterprise Park.

First Build

2nd February 1889

In 1989 owner of the land, James Sinclair & Co broke ground and started building.

A STEP in to our past

Shopping Basket