Consensus reached at meeting

Tonight's meeting has been called so that Mr Wheelhouse (pictured) can be updated on the Pinneys situation.
Tonight's meeting has been called so that Mr Wheelhouse (pictured) can be updated on the Pinneys situation.

An action group meeting held in Annan last week to discuss the a closure-threatened Pinneys seafood factory has been described as “positive and encouraging”.

The meeting in the town hall on Wednesday was convened by Enterprise Minister Paul Wheelhouse so he could be updated by a number of local stakeholders, including council members and local MSPs, on the progress of talks with Young’s Seafood and to hear their concerns and the impact the proposed closure would have on the local community.

Hundreds of jobs could be lost if Young’s Seafood proceeds with plans to move production to Grimsby.

The meeting, however, heard there is “credible” interest in the plant from companies and investors.

There has been cross-party political support from MSPs and councillors to try to save the facility since closure plans first emerged.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s deputy leader Rob Davidson said Wednesday night’s meeting had seen further consensus achieved. He also said the local authority’s bid to secure funding for an economic development team had received widespread support.

Sean Marshall, the councillor behind that move, said that he hoped that could be achieved as soon as possible, with the dedicated team looking at ways in which new jobs can be created by either expaning existing businesses or attracting new business to the area. He added that options for the future of the Pinneys site itself are also being explored, but he warned that work needs to start urgently with the economic team put in place sooner rather than later.

Mr Davidson also said that there is still optimism that a buyer could be found and the commitment given by the council remains absolute.