Talks commence to save Annan seafood plant

Written by Tom Freeman on 19 April 2018 in News

Small town fish factory subject of ministerial intervention after owner plans to withdraw

Paul Wheelhouse - David Anderson/Holyrood

UK and Scottish ministers have stepped in to try and save an under-threat seafood plant in Annan.

The facility has been earmarked for closure by parent company Young’s Seafood, endangering hundreds of jobs in the small town in in Dumfries and Galloway.

The company’s chief executive Bill Showalter is to meet with Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills Paul Wheelhouse and the UK Scotland Secretary David Mundell, who is also the local MP, to discuss the situation today.

Wheelhouse said he would also meet with staff representatives at the plant, hundreds of whom held a mass meeting last week.

“The Scottish Government are absolutely clear: we are doing all that we can with all the resources that are available to us and our partner agencies, in working to seek to maintain production at the Pinneys of Scotland site and to retain as many of the jobs as possible,” he said.

“I have held a number of early discussions, including with the management of Young’s Seafood and Unite the union, and I have established an Action Group with a membership that includes Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Government, officials and industry representatives (Seafood Scotland) to explore all viable options to protect employment and we will work with South Scotland Economic Partnership on any wider issues impacting on the local economy.”

Mundell said: "The loss of so many jobs would be a tragedy for Annan, as well as the wider Dumfries and Galloway area.

"It is clear many hundreds of jobs are risk - not only the 450 people employed directly at the factory, but also agency workers, those in the supply chain and the wider local economy."

Young’s Seafood pledged to engage in “meaningful consultation” with staff before final decisions are made.

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