Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called for Scottish Enterprise to answer questions over what action it has taken to prevent the proposed closure of the Pinneys seafood plant in Annan as he revealed that Liberal Democrats had raised concerns about the firm's future four years ago.
In February 2014, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the South of Scotland Jim Hume and councillor Richard Brodie alerted Scottish Enterprise to the possibility of all Marks & Spencer business going to Grimsby after a meeting with Pinneys management.
On 3 March 2018, the proposed closure of the Annan plant was announced. This will affect 450 jobs in a town with a population of of 8,500.
Mr Rennie said:
"Four years ago, my colleagues Jim Hume and Richard Brodie warned Scottish Enterprise that there was a real risk of production shifting away from Scotland and with it the loss of many jobs.
"The Scottish Government and the Scottish Secretary are well aware of the importance of these jobs to the South of Scotland. Together with Scottish Enterprise, they must be clear about what they have been doing to protect these jobs since 2014 and, more importantly, what they will do to save the plant and the livelihoods of those who depend upon it."
Councillor Richard Brodie said:
"When Jim Hume and I warned that jobs were at risk, Scottish Enterprise seemed focused on small business support and appeared to have no appreciation of the massive importance of Pinneys to the rural area.
"The proposed closure of the Pinneys plant will have incalculable consequences for Annan, Eastriggs and many more small villages here where 450 jobs is a large slice of the population."
"I will continue to press for the Scottish Government to take action to support the workers' whose jobs are at risk."