Aberdeen's historic Stoneywood paper mill faces uncertain future

Hundreds of workers face an uncertain future as a Scottish paper mill in production for nearly 250 years was placed into administration.

A paper mill in action. Stoneywood has been producing paper for more than two centuries

Arjowiggins Fine Papers at the Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen is one of a number of UK businesses facing the measure from French parent company Sequana.

It follows the firm filing a petition on 8 January to start receivership proceedings for various subsidiaries in France.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Aberdeen mill has been in operation since 1770 and has a turnover of £120 million.

But now 489 staff face the threat of redundancy, along with 29 based in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Joint administrator Iain Fraser said: “The Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen has a long tradition and reputation for producing fine and creative papers of the very highest quality for a global customer base.

“Unfortunately, the business has been severely affected by rising costs and difficult trading conditions and the insolvency proceedings begun in France left the directors no option but to place the UK companies in administration.

“We will continue to trade the business whilst exploring all options for securing a future for the site.”

Other Arjowiggins companies placed into administration include at Chartham, Kent (90 staff), Arjobex in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (48 staff), Performance Papers in Manchester (11 staff) and the Wiggins Teape Group, also in Manchester (seven staff).

Unite industrial officer Tommy Campbell said: “Unite is seeking clarity about the position of the site.

“If it is indeed the case that the company is in administration, we will seek an urgent meeting with representatives of the company as well as the Scottish Government to see what can be done to find a buyer and save jobs at this site.

“This is an anxious time for staff at the plant and for the local economy of the north-east.

“Stoneywood has been a very successful business for almost 250 years, and these workers and their families deserve a future.”

Several SNP representatives in the north-east have contacted Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn regarding the mill. A joint letter said: “The news is of course deeply concerning. However, we hope that with the support of the Scottish Government a new buyer can be found as soon as possible.”