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The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

Closure plan at long-established bakery business

Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack has expressed deep concern at the prospect of further jobs losses in the area after plans to close a long-established Stewartry business were announced.

The family bakery firm of M. Corson, which was founded in 1880 and has branches in Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and Kirkcudbright, has confirmed it is in consultation over a decision to cease trading with the potential loss of 34 full and part-time jobs.

Mr Jack said: "It must have been a painful decision for the owners, who, I understand, had been trying to find a suitable buyer for the business for some years.

"It will be an especially difficult period for the company's loyal and, in some cases, very long-serving employees."

Mr Jack added that he would be willing to assist, if required, in ensuring the necessary support and advice was in place for those seeking new jobs.

More than 240 sign up for first Borderlands conference as key themes for day revealed

More than 240 people, including business representatives, public sector organisations and individuals, have signed up for the first Borderlands conference taking place this month.

Organisers are delighted with the take up for the inaugural event on Monday 18 June at Dumfries’ Easterbrook Hall - and urged those who haven’t yet confirmed their attendance not to miss out.

The proposed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a unique partnership that brings together the five cross-border local authorities to promote the economic growth and competitiveness of the area that straddles the Scotland-England border.

The conference will provide the opportunity for the Borderlands Partnership to meet with stakeholders and local and national politicians at a vital time for the project. A team from both sides of the Border is building a case to present to both the UK and Scottish governments later this year.

The conference will update interested parties, from all sectors, on proposals - and hear their aspirations and ambitions for the deal.

Keynote speakers will include David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland and Keith Brown, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work.

A Borderlands Partnership spokesperson said: “The possibilities raised by a Borderlands deal are being recognised by businesses and individuals from all the areas that would stand to benefit.

“There’s a real feeling of momentum and we want to engage with as wide a cross-section of all those communities as possible. That way we can ensure that when proposals go forward for consideration they are representative of the views of those who live and work in the Borderlands.

“The conference breakout sessions will be a real opportunity for people to help shape the bid. That support will help strengthen our case.”

There’s still time for people to register to attend the conference. Places can be booked via www.borderlandsgrowth.com/get-involved

The breakout sessions will cover Borderlands’ key themes: Digital; Energy; Destination Borderlands; Rural Productivity; Business Growth; Transport; Innovation and Skills and Quality of Place.
The partnership of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council, has released the following details of where they would welcome input and feedback:

  • Digital - The best deployment of infrastructure to boost productivity and ensuring promotion of digital skills to allow business and communities to maximise benefits.

  • Energy - Options todevelop a whole system approach to the generation and use of energy across the significant geography of the 9,000 sq miles of the Borderlands region.

  • Destination Borderlands - Maximising the appeal of the Borderlands as a place to visit and live.

  • Rural Productivity - Equipping the area to play its full part in shaping and profiting from the creation of new economic growth post-Brexit.

  • Business Growth - How to improve the business infrastructure to spur growth that is typically only half of that in comparative areas.

  • Transport - From road to rail and with improving air and sea port capabilities, what are the area’s transport priorities?

  • Innovation and Skills - Better linking our businesses with further and higher education institutions to provide the talent and skills required to innovate and diversify.

  • Quality of Place - As consumer tastes change in a digital age, how do we develop our network of towns so they become great places of tomorrow?

Borderlands partners are meeting key stakeholders on an ongoing basis. If you would like to discuss opportunities, ideas and possible working relationships, or would just like more information, visit the partnership website www.Borderlandsgrowth.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Council react to Young’s Announcement

Following the conclusion of the 45-day consultation period, the announcement today from Young’s that Pinneys in Annan will proceed with the closure of the plant this year has greatly disappointed Dumfries and Galloway Council. The Council wishes to reassure those concerned that it is continuing to work with partners to look for alternative solutions and opportunities for Pinneys’ employees.

The action group will be visiting the site again in the near future to liaise with managers and to support staff. This Council continues to work behind the scenes to do all that it can.

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) are also increasing up their support with staff and responding to the needs of the employees, including setting up a jobs fair in the town in the near future.

Rob Davidson, Depute Leader for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “This announcement is not unexpected, but it is still sad news. Despite our best efforts, Young’s were determined to place their focus on their Grimsby base. However, we are still committed to working with the Scottish Government, as part of the Action Group, to try and secure as many jobs as we possibly can.”

Elaine Murray, Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council went on to say: “We will continue to look hard for potential investors and will work alongside the Pace team, but despite all our hard work, this is devastating news. However, we remain focussed on finding a resolution to the situation and to find potential investors for the site which will in turn help rebuild the local economy.

Ourimmediate thoughts are with the families affected, we know that the Pinneys’ employees remain a dedicated workforce and we will do all we can to find suitable employment for them with firms who will value their skills.”

MSP FEARS LATEST LANGHOLM JOBS BLOW WILL IMPACT ON OTHER BUSINESSES

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has expressed concern that other local businesses could be affected by the news that Langholm contractor T Graham & Son has gone into liquidation with the loss of nearly 30 jobs.

The company, established in 1982, ceased trading on Thursday, with all staff made redundant but Colin Smyth fears that other local businesses owned money by the company could also be badly impacted by the closure. 

The job losses are the latest devastating jobs blow to the area following the confirmation that Langholm based Edinburgh Woollen Mill were closing their HQ and moving the 300 jobs to Carlisle, the loss of 14 jobs at Arla Creamery near Lockerbie due to the closure of the packing unit and the confirmation that Young’s Seafood plan to close Pinneys of Annan with the loss of up to 700 direct permanents, seasonal and agency jobs. 

Colin Smyth said, “The news that Graham’s & Son have gone into liquidation is yet another devastating blow for the area and my thoughts are very much with the workers affected. My fear is there could be further bad news on the way given how many other local businesses will be owed money by the company which they are very unlikely to get in full now that Graham’s has collapsed. The knock on impact of this latest jobs crisis could stretch beyond the company and that’s frankly the last thing the local economy needs at a time it is already in such a precarious position. A lack of investment and downright neglect by the U.K. and Scottish Governments in the local economy mean there are very few alternatives for those losing their jobs, yet both Governments are like rabbits caught in the headlines. They have no idea what to do about the jobs crisis facing the region and are letting the area down with such a lack of support to help existing businesses grow and to attract new ones “. 

Businesses and Groups Encouraged to Attend First Borderlands Conference

Senior UK and Scottish government ministers will speak at the first Borderlands Conference at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries on Monday 18 June 2018.

The conference will bring together the Borderlands Partnership, stakeholders and local and national politicians in a bid to enhance the proposals that will be made to both the UK and Scottish governments later this year.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland and Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work. Other key note speakers still to be announced. 

David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland said:

“The Borderlands Growth Deal is a genuinely innovative initiative and has the potential to transform the economy of the whole region, both in the South of Scotland and across the border, creating jobs and increasing prosperity. It aims to build on the successes of city and growth deals across Scotland that are already delivering benefits for people and businesses. I have been impressed with proposals put forward by partners and look forward to continuing fruitful discussions as we work towards a deal.”

Keith Brown MP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said:

“We have made clear our commitment to a deal for the Borderlands that will drive inclusive growth across the area. Indeed, we want to see every part of Scotland benefit from this sort of focussed, transformational investment. 

“We want to ensure that the Borderlands deal complements the Scottish Government’s commitment to establishing a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland, and have been running a series of events across the South of Scotland to hear what the people who live and work in the area want. I look forward to the event in June as an opportunity to hear from stakeholders across the Borderlands - their aims, aspirations and ambitions for the deal and how was can work together to make them happen.”

Carlisle MP John Stevenson was confirmed as the Borderlands Champion for England in the UK Prime Minister’s Questions on 2 May 2018. 

More follows…

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, added: 

“Borderlands is a unique opportunity for our region. The work which the five Councils have already done is very encouraging. I am delighted, as the Prime Minister’s Champion for the Borderlands, to support the Conference. It will offer participants a chance to hear what work has been done as well as have the opportunity to influence the proposals.” 

The conference will take place between 9am and 3.30pm. Places can be booked via www.borderlandsgrowth.com/get-involved 

The conference will enable stakeholders to hear about the work to date, the ambition for the Borderlands region and give them the opportunity to provide their input through workshop sessions.

The proposed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is unique and is a partnership that brings together the five cross-border local authorities of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council to promote the economic growth and competitiveness of the area that straddles the Scotland-England border.

A Borderlands Partnership spokesperson said: 

“Our first conference is a fantastic opportunity for key stakeholders from right across the area to hear about the work of the Partnership so far and the very positive support we’ve had from both governments to date. Later this year we will submit further propositions regarding potential programmes and projects that could be developed under the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal to the two governments. The conference workshops will give the many stakeholders the chance to discuss these at an early stage and provide their feedback and input and their support will help strengthen our case.”

The partners are working on a collective ambition to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the south of Scotland and north of England.

The themed topics that the Borderlands Partnership has been working on are: Energy; Digital; Transport Connections; Business; Destination Borderlands; Quality of Place; Rural Productivity; and Skills and Innovation.

The Borderlands partners continue to meet key stakeholders on an ongoing basis. If you would like to discuss opportunities, ideas and possible working relationships, or would just like more information, visit the Partnership website www.BorderlandsGrowth.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.