DJ offers to help Pinneys workforce

DJ Calvin Harris who once worked at the plant has offered any help he can give.
DJ Calvin Harris who once worked at the plant has offered any help he can give.

Renowned DJ and music producer, Calvin Harris, has stepped into the row over the proposed closure of the Pinneys fish processing plant.

The London-based internation megastar, who used to work at the plant in his youth, has instructed his management to contact the council to see if he can help in any way.

The Gazette broke the news three weeks ago that the closure could see up to 750 local jobs affected if it goes ahead.

Last week a meeting held in the Market Hall in Annan saw hundreds of people turn up to have their say on the proposals by parent company, Young’s Seafood.

It is believed that three businesses have shown an interest in Pinneys, two of whom are local with the third thought to be a direct competitor of Young’s.

Enterprise Minister Paul Wheelhouse who met with Youngs Chief Executive Bill Showalter yesterday (Thursday, April 19) has said that the Scottish government was in discussion with a number of companies in relation to the site.

He said it was working with both potential buyers and those who could supply new contracts.

“We are confident that the companies we are speaking to are serious,” he said.

“We do not know yet whether they will take forward any commercial interest but obviously that is contingent on the outcome of the consultation itself.

“At the moment there are no redundancies, there is a statutory consultation and we have to wait the outcome of that but we are clearly trying to prepare a plan B in the event there is a requirement for redundancies.”

Local MPs, MSPs and council management were all in attendance at the meeting.

Workers and the local community are up for the battle to save Pinneys was the clear message from South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth, Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall and Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh following a series of meetings and surgeries across Annandale and Eskdale last week.

The comments come as the formal 45-day consultation by Young’s Seafood got underway on Monday this week (April 16).

Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader Elaine Murray has already committed the council to doing all it possibly can, saying: “We’ve known since the announcement was made by Young’s that we need to be in this for the long-haul. We are reassured that our partners, the Scottish Government and other agencies share our commitment.”