SCOTTISH Secretary David Mundell has described Young’s Seafoods decision to go ahead with the closure of its Pinneys factory in Annan as “devastating”. The decision has been met with a chorus of criticism from a number of local and leading politicians.
Young’s said last night it had explored in detail all possible alternatives, but had not been able to find any viable solution. Production of salmon will now be moved to Grimsby.
Mundell issued a statement in which he said: “This is absolutely devastating news for Annan and the wider community. The fact we have been expecting it does not lessen the blow in any way.
“Pinneys 450 staff have worked hard and been loyal to the company for many years. Young’s Seafood can’t just walk away, they have a responsibility to do everything they can to support those who are losing their jobs – including through opportunities at their scampi plant and in helping to find a future for the Pinneys site.”
He added: “I will be meeting with the workers over the next few days and I will continue to work with the Scottish Government and local authority to do all we can to secure a future for the plant.”
Scotland’s Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the decision was disappointing although not unexpected. He added: It will be a bitter blow to the staff and their families. Despite our best efforts and offers of support to encourage Young’s to retain some production at the site it recently became clear that Young’s were focused on extracting themselves from the site to concentrate the natural salmon production on Grimsby.
“As such, the Scottish Government and our partners in the action group will continue to work tirelessly to identify and support any potential new investor to the site.
The Minister confirmed: “We have held initial discussions with all interested parties and this dialogue will continue over the next few days and weeks in an effort to support more detailed discussions with potential buyers of the site and keep production at the site with the objective of retaining as many jobs as we can in recognition of the economic impact on Annan and the surrounding area.”
South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said few would be surprised by the confirmation of the closure and accused the company of “going through the motions” in the consultation.