Young's scampi plant will have to be rebuilt –

Young’s scampi plant will have to be rebuilt Published:  14 March, 2007

YOUNG’s has confirmed this afternoon that its scampi factory at Annan in Dumfries which was badly damaged in a fire last week will almost certainly have to be rebuilt.

The company said in an update on the situation that the precise cause of the fire was still being investigated. But it has said that investigations over the past week had shown that the fire was accidental and there was no suspicion of any malicious intent.

The main part of the factory affected is the frying and coating area, which has suffered major structural damage and is likely to require a complete rebuild. It will still be some days before a redevelopment plan can be confirmed. In the meantime Young’s said it was continuing to purchase Scottish langoustine as normal from its regular suppliers. Scampi production has temporarily been transferred to Young’s facilities in Grimsby, where it has two modern factories, to maintain continuity of supply to its customers.

The company said in a statement: “All staff at Annan remain in our employment and are currently re-deployed to assist with the clean-up operation. Specialist cleaning is in progress and we hope to have some aspects of normal site operation up and running again within a week, subject to the proper safety and hygiene inspections. Further information will be released once the timetable for redevelopment can be confirmed.”

The fire broke out in the early hours of last Thursday when around 25 staff were working on site and production was brought to an immediate halt. They were all evacuated safely through a well rehearsed emergency escape plan. Dumfries firemen said the factory was well ablaze by the time they arrived, but added that the emergency procedure had worked well.

Deputy chief executive Mike Parker said a contingency plan designed to ensure continued production of scampi products had been put in place. He re-iterated: “There is absolutely no question mark over the future of the plant and we have re-assured our staff to this effect.”