Councillors agree support for Annan

Agreement for a special funding pot for to help deliver local solutions following the Pinneys closure announcement was agreed today.  At the meeting of Full Council (Monday 30 April) Councillors agreed to seek £250,000 from the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership (SOSEP) to mitigate the potential negative impact of the potential job losses at Pinneys.

The Council have been working with the Scottish Government following the closure announcement made by Young’s.  Recognising the scale and seriousness of the problem for the staff and the community of Annan, the council have responded through prompt, focussed action. An action plan has been established and work is progressing on taking this forward.

A motion by Councillor Marshall was put forward and agreed unanimously by Councillors, who said that there is an immediate need for a focussed team resource to work quickly to secure jobs (both new and existing), new opportunities, ensure the ongoing sustainability and resilience for Annan and the wider DG12 area.

Based on a similar situation in Hawick where both the Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Government provided significant support towards a Hawick Action Plan, a similar approach was discussed yesterday as a way forward to address the situation.  There are a range of existing projects (including the Chapelcross Development and the Annan Regeneration Plan) along with the action plan for Pinneys which will identify key projects and enable business cases to be completed to seek further funding as well as enable positive short-term interventions.

Sean Marshall, Chair of Annan Regeneration Steering Group, said “It is imperative that we secure £250K from SOSEP so that we can proceed immediately with developing an action plan for Annan and the surrounding DG12 area that stretches as far as Eastriggs.  The Action Plan Team should be based in Annan in High Street premises  and will identify new and existing projects that are fully costed to secure jobs and new economic opportunities within Annan.  Whilst everyone is working towards securing the best outcome for the Pinneys workforce, the worst case scenario could see the loss of between 500 and 700 jobs by the end of 2018.  Annan is currently an economic ticking timebomb and we need to act quickly to stop Annan and the surrounding area turning into an economic wasteland.”

Henry McClelland, who seconded the Motion, said “the announcement of the Young’s decision to close the Annan Pinney’s factory is devastating to many of the implications will reach across DG12 and beyond.

“The Ministerial Action Group was formed immediately and quickly identified four work streams.  The fourth stream, mitigating the impact on the wider economy is a piece of work that is needed now.

“This funding of £250,000 from SOSEP to resource a dedicated team to work to develop an action plan for the Annan area.  This action plan will inform businesses and develop business cases to seek further investment for key identified projects including expansion opportunities.”