Call for further support for staff

Young's has put the Annan factory site on the market for an undisclosed sum.
Young's has put the Annan factory site on the market for an undisclosed sum.

Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said Young’s Seafood should not profit from the sale of the Pinneys factory site in Annan, which has been put on the open market.

The 150,000 square feet site on Stapleton Road is now being marketed for sale by Leeds firm Dove Haigh Phillips, prompting Mr Smyth to once again urge Young’s to hand over the site, pointing to the fact the factory was now a liability for the company which would face a rates bill of over £110,000 a year when it closes.

Mr Smyth said: “As production has now ceased at Pinneys, Young’s will be looking for a quick sale to avoid paying rates on a site they are no longer using. I would urge them to show loyalty to the people of Annan, who have shown Pinneys loyalty over four decades and accept the best offer in terms of creating jobs and growing the local economy.

“This may mean taking the lower financial deal but at the end of the day Young’s should not profit from the sale of Pinneys and the job losses they have caused.”

Mr Smyth has also written to Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, urging the Government to step up its support for workers including holding a further Jobs Fair in the town.

The call comes after it was revealed last week that 2 Sisters were creating 200 food processing jobs in Carlisle, which he believes could provide opportunities for some workers.

The recruitment drive at the Carlisle plant – Cavaghan & Gray – has been prompted by the award of a Marks & Spencer contract to owners 2 Sisters.

Mr Smyth continued: “The top priority in the response to the closure of Pinney’s has been to find and secure alternative employment for every worker and that must continue. The previous Jobs Fair was a success in bringing companies to the area who had actual job vacancies.

“Due to the success of the previous Jobs Fair it is essential that another is organised quickly, preferably this month, given that production has now ceased.”

Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall added: “Also after putting forward the motion that has seen £250,000 awarded by South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership to fund a team to help and support the Pinneys workforce and develop an action plan I have been involved in identifying a High Street property that can house the team and hope to have this open very soon so that Former Pinneys workers can continue to receive the support needed to get them back into work.”