Orkney Business Ring was founded in 1994, originally as the Orkney Machinery Ring, a co-operative, owned by its members. The Machinery Ring concept was introduced to Scotland in the late seventies however did not gain favour until 1987 when the first machinery ring was established in the Borders. The idea was brought to Orkney's farming community in 1993, through the experience of successful machinery rings in Scotland and a public consultation held within Orkney it was voted a viable option for the Orkney farming community and a steering committee was formed, made up of local farmers and agricultural contractors, some of which were voted on to the Board of Directors, thus starting the Orkney Machinery Ring.
Over the years the business had developed and was no longer offering only machinery services to members having added other benefits such as electricity deals, commodities, labour and training, therefore it seemed more fitting to rename the business to encompass all services provided. Orkney Machinery Ring became the Orkney Business Ring in 2001. Orkney Labour Agency and Orkney Training Group were made subsidiary companies of OBR at this time as the services they provide are available to the local community and not restricted to members only.
Orkney Business Ring now has over 300 members, with the core of the business remaining as member to member services i.e. machinery hire/contracting and commodity supply. We also run Orkney Labour Agency which supplies staff to all employment sectors in Orkney and the Orkney Training Group, providing tailor made training within the land based sector, construction industry and many other subject areas. These companies are continuing to grow, offering a beneficial service to the local Orkney community.