Former Pinney's Site to Reopen Under New Owners

More than 100 jobs are set to be created at the former Pinneys of Scotland plant in Annan, the Scottish Government has announced.

The factory in Dumfries and Galloway has been purchased by food processing company Bhagat Holdings Limited which said production would begin in the autumn.

The area was left devastated when it was announced last year that the Pinneys of Scotland factory was being closed by parent company Young's.

New owners Bhagat said the company is investing £9 million of capital funding at the site.

It plans to create an initial 120 jobs and said there is the potential for more in the future.

The Scottish Government, through Scottish Enterprise, has invested £1.7 million through a Regional Selective Assistance grant to support the company to expand its European interests to Scotland.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "This is great news for the people of Annan, and for the South of Scotland more generally.

"I'm delighted that an international company like Bhagat Holdings has chosen to invest in Scotland, with the immediate creation of a significant number of jobs, which will make a real difference to local people and the local economy.

"When Young's closed last summer, I said that we would leave no stone unturned and we would keep working to find a solution and an alternative use for this site.

"That hard work has now paid off and it is Annan and the local community and families who will benefit."

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader Cllr Elaine Murray said: "I am very pleased with this announcement and hope it signals an upturn in the region's economy, following the closure of Pinneys last year.

"We welcome Bhagat Holdings to our region and wish them well in the future."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

“The re-opening of the former Pinneys factory and creation of 120 jobs is very welcome news for Annan and the surrounding area. Pinneys closure last year hit hard. I saw first-hand the tremendous efforts partners, workers and the whole community made to try and save the site.

“I welcome Bhagat Holdings Limited’s arrival and plans to start production in the autumn – with the prospect of even more jobs being created in the future.

“It’s a double boost for the Borderlands coming just a few days after the UK and Scottish governments announced £345 million funding to drive economic growth in the region by helping existing business, encouraging new ventures and bringing a wealth of improvements to people who live and work here.”

Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the sale of the former Pinneys site on Stapleton Road, Annan but has reiterated his call for a £10 million Economic Action Plan for the town.

The sale of the site to international firm Atlantis Pak is set to be announced in Annan on Monday 18th March. The firm is expected to create jobs at the site. However, it is unlikely that the number of workers employed by Atlantis Pak will match the numbers previously employed by Young’s Seafood.

The Pinneys of Annan factory was owned by Young’s Seafood, but it closed its doors in August last year. Approximately 450 direct posts and hundreds more agency and seasonal posts were also lost as a result of the closure.

Colin Smyth has previously called on the Scottish and UK Governments to be ready to invest up to £10 million in an Economic Action Plan.

Colin Smyth said, “The news that a buyer has been found for the Pinneys factory at long last will be welcomed by the community and the hope will be that the new owners can grow the workforce once more. However, the number of posts being created initially will be a fraction of the jobs lost at Pinneys. There is still an urgent need for the UK and Scottish Government to properly invest in the local economy and that’s why I have renewed my call for a £10 million Economic Action Plan for Annan.

The tragedy of the closure of Pinneys was the fact there simply weren’t enough alternative jobs in the area when the economic tsunami of its closure hit Annan. The closure meant people having to move away or travel long distances to find work. More needs to be done to grow existing businesses and attract new ones to the area so we don’t have to rely so heavily again on a very small number of big employers.”