Bosses at a Perth laundry announced its immediate closure yesterday with the loss of more than 80 jobs.
The axe had been hanging over the Fishers depot since the middle of the month when the firm said the coronavirus lockdown had made it univiable.
Workers’ representatives and politicians had been in talks with managers on the possibility of saving the mothballed Inveralmond industrial estate plant.
However, the company confirmed yesterday that it was closing for good, resulting in 84 redundancies.
Fishers services more than half the hotels in Scotland and the north east of England and has been significantly impacted by the downturn in the hospitality and tourism sector.
The loss of a major contract with Premier Inn operators Whitbread was the death knell for the Perth site.
The firm will now consolidate its Scottish hospitality business into its Cupar and Glasgow laundries.
During the consultation period, Fishers’ management team said they examined a range of options in an effort to avoid closure, including a number of suggestions from staff.
Employees at the plant and drivers offered to job share and cut their hours if it meant saving their jobs.
The company also approached the Scottish Government to see if it could expand its existing social healthcare and care home business with the provision of re-usable PPE gowns, but this didn’t prove possible in the timescales required.
Managing director Michael Jones said: “This has been an incredibly hard decision, closing a good laundry and losing great people, many with long service.
“We have turned over every stone looking for alternatives, but we have to be prepared for uncertain times ahead.
“We are working very hard to have our Cupar and Glasgow laundries ready to ramp up production, with safe distancing and increased hygiene measures in place, in time for the re-opening of hotels.”
Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart had been fighting to secure the plant’s future in Perth.
He has urged everyone affected to look to the Scottish Government’s redundancy support service PACE.
Mr Wishart said: “I am really saddened to hear that Fishers management we not able to find an alternative to closure for the Perth site.
“The Scottish Government have already confirmed that the 84 people impacted by this decision will receive full PACE support and I am grateful for this.
“I realise that this will nevertheless be an extremely worrying time for all those families impacted by this announcement and I would encourage them to seek help from PACE as soon as they possibly can.”