250 at-risk jobs at Young’s Seafood could be saved

Young's Seafood is considering maintaining production at Fraserburgh at a reduced scale but may still close the Grantown on Spey site. Picture: Contributed
Young's Seafood is considering maintaining production at Fraserburgh at a reduced scale but may still close the Grantown on Spey site. Picture: Contributed
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ALMOST 250 jobs could be saved at an under-threat seafood factory after talks over its future.

Young’s Seafood announced earlier this month that more than 900 jobs could be lost at two of its sites in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, and Grantown on Spey in the Highlands.

The company had proposed moving work from the factories to its other manufacturing sites in Grimsby, Livingston and Annan after the loss of a major contract to supply salmon to supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

At a meeting led by Scottish Government ministers, the firm said it is now considering maintaining production at Fraserburgh on a reduced scale while closing the Grantown on Spey site.

The move would see 250 staff retained at Fraserburgh - about half the current number. The company is seeking a buyer for Grantown on Spey.

Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council, Highland Council, trade unions and Skills Development Scotland also attended the meeting.

Business minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government has made every effort to safeguard jobs at Young’s two sites in Fraserburgh and Grantown on Spey.

“I am pleased that Young’s is now exploring a revised option which would see their Fraserburgh factory remain open, albeit downsized to around 250 permanent staff - around half the current number - with no redundancies before 2016. An alternative buyer would be sought for the Grantown on Spey facility.

“This is a significant and welcome move. Young’s have engaged closely with the Scottish Government and public sector partners.

“They have demonstrated a willingness to listen and recognise the value of retaining many of their dedicated workers in Scotland.

“Of course, many people will still face redundancy and we will continue to provide every possible support to those workers who need our help.”

Mr Ewing will visit Young’s Grantown on Spey facility to meet staff and discuss the impact of closure.

Peter Ward, chief executive officer of Young’s Seafood, said: “The company is committed to constructive engagement with all stakeholders in a transparent way to explore all and every option to retain as many jobs as is feasible.

“I would like to thank all of the stakeholders present for their commitment and also recognise the ongoing commitment of the workforce in these difficult circumstances.”