Politicians are urging a rethink over plans for seafood producer Dawnfresh to close a Glasgow factory and create 150 Angus jobs.
Last week the firm announced plans to close its factory in Uddingston and relocate to Arbroath.
A 45-day consultation is currently ongoing with the 230-strong workforce at the Uddingston plant.
Dawnfresh intends to move to one production site in the middle of next year.
The move will take its workforce in Arbroath to more than 300.
Dawnfresh plans are ‘a huge blow’
However, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley and Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Stephanie Callaghan are calling on Dawnfresh Seafoods to reconsider plans to close their Uddingston site.
Ms Callaghan said the loss of jobs would have a significant impact on the local economy.
She said: “This will undoubtedly be a concern for the staff affected, many of whom will not want the stress of having to move their families 100 miles away from the place they call home.
“Losing more than 300 permanent and temporary jobs would be a huge blow to the town and the local economy which has already been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Dawnfresh working with staff
Dawnfresh has acquired the former Perimax building next door to its site at Kirkton Industrial Estate in Arbroath.
The company will make a £5 million investment in the expansion.
Dawnfresh managing director Raleigh Salvesen said the firm was working to help its staff find new jobs in the area.
Mr Salvesen said: “We have started engaging with local representatives, unions, skills agencies and local and national government to help people find new jobs in the area.
“The company is also seeking to work with government and other agencies to find an alternative use of the current site in Uddingston to retain employment in the area.”
Dawnfresh plans show Brexit impact – claim
The food production sector has faced significant challenges since the UK left the EU, Ms Callaghan said.
The decision by Dawnfresh to relocate was another example of the impact of Brexit on the industry.
The Uddingston and Bellshill MSP added: “We were told Brexit would be a good thing for the seafood industry.
“This proposal is just another example of how the UK Government’s disregard for the industry has made things harder for companies to trade with Europe and has ultimately cost jobs.”
Arbroath jobs welcome
Central Scotland Labour MSP Monica Lennon said she was “devastated” by the news.
She added: “I attended a briefing with the firm. I am in contact with trade union representatives of the workforce.
“Lanarkshire needs investment and a credible manufacturing strategy from the Scottish Government.”
Another South Lanarkshire councillor, Kenny McCreary, said he would discuss the plans with Dawnfresh management and South Lanarkshire Council.
However, the plans for Angus job creation have been welcomed by Scottish Conservative North East MSP Maurice Golden.
He said: “It’s great news for Arbroath that so many new jobs are coming to the area.
“In the wake of the Covid pandemic there has been so much economic uncertainty.
“The creation of scores of new roles will be a real boost to the town and also the wider Angus area.
“It also shows that big firms trust the people of the Angus and are willing to invest.
“That’s an encouraging sign for the local economy and some welcome good news after a difficult 18 months.”