South Scotland

Hawick Knitwear takeover deal welcomed

Hawick Knitwear sign
Image caption Mr Hartop said he believed the firm could compete with its rivals in the Far East

A management buyout at a Scottish Borders knitwear firm has been welcomed by local politicians.

Managing director Benny Hartop has agreed a deal to purchase Hawick Knitwear from owners Harris Watson.

He said it was an "exciting time" to be buying the business and said it would not affect the terms and conditions of the 200 staff in Hawick and Galashiels.

Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said he was pleased to see such a "widely respected" figure take over.

"The relative success of the company in the face of the recent economic difficulties is a testament to Benny's leadership and the hard work and enthusiasm of his staff," he said.

"Hawick Knitwear has a proud history in the town and an international reputation.

"I wish Benny and all the staff the best as they open this new and exciting chapter in the firm's history."

Mr Hartop said he was looking forward to the challenge of taking the company forward.

"Competing against products manufactured in the Far East will always prove challenging for us," he said.

"But with the skills, enthusiasm and flexibility we have both in Hawick and Galashiels I am sure we will build on the success of the last two years."

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