Scottish Secretary: “Unforgivable” that Young’s planned Pinneys closure a year before announcement

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The Scottish fish processing plant, which closes this month, were working on a plan to shut the site up to ONE year before the announcement was made, the Scottish Secretary David Mundell has claimed.

According to the Sunday Post, Scottish Conservative Party politician said that secrecy surrounding plans by Young’s Seafood for the Pinneys plant in Annan ruined any subsequent Government rescue plans or takeover options.

Young’s Seafood confirmed the closure of its Pinneys of Scotland plant in June. The iconic fish factory will close towards the end of 2018. Overall up to 450 job losses are expected. Pinneys were one of Annan’s largest employers

Young’s Seafood has become the ­subject of a three-way winner-takes-all fight as the potential £200m sale of the frozen food manufacturer looms.

Talking to the publication, Mr Mundell said he now believes the closure was used to help get the business in better shape for selling on.

Secretary of State for Scotland & MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddal David Mundell and his MSP son Oliver have long been campaigning against the closure and at one point asked the Scottish Government to buy the processor in Annan to save it from imminent closure.

Unforgivable
Young’s Seafood, based in Grimsby, is currently up for sale for a reported £200 million. Pinneys’ biggest customer is Marks & Spencer however Mr Mundell said he claimed that rescue talks with the retail giant it was made “very clear” to him that plans for closing the factory had been discussed by Young’s well ahead of the announcement in April.

“What I think was unforgivable from Young’s is that they had been considering this closure for a significant amount of time,” Mr Mundell told the Sunday Post.

“I met with Marks and Spencer and they were very clear that Young’s had been telling them that they were intending to close that site for almost a year ahead of it being closed.

“Young’s announced it before they made it known to any of the bodies that could have assisted them in staying on at the site, and that is very disappointing.”

Extremely disappointed
In an email to SalmonBusiness a Unite Scotland industrial representative said:

“Unite is extremely disappointed at the closure. We would have hoped to continue production at some level but that wasn’t to be given the company’s decision to withdraw from two contracts. It is disappointing to see a highly skilled, motivated and loyal workforce being put out of work.”

SalmonBusiness contacted a representative from Young’s who said that the company will not be making a comment on the issues mentioned.