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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    Health Secretary Shona Robison

    That's from us at Holyrood Live on Tuesday 17 April 2018.

    Health Secretary Shona Robison confirmed a formal inquiry into the use of the endowment fund by NHS Tayside is underway.

    The cabinet secretary also said there was nothing to suggest that other health boards had misused the funding.

    The deal was announced by Nicola Sturgeon as she visited the BiFab yard in Methil
    Image caption: The deal was announced by Nicola Sturgeon as she visited the BiFab yard in Methil

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon annoucned troubled BiFab engineering firm was being taken over by a Canadian company in a move that could save hundreds of jobs in Fife and on Lewis.

    BiFab had warned workers at its yards in Methil, Burntisland and Arnish that they faced possible redundancy,

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown updated Holyrood on details of the deal in a ministerial statement.

  2. Economy secretary congratulates members of ATUC on 150th anniversary

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown
    Image caption: Economy Secretary Keith Brown

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown congratulates members of ATUC, past and present, on its 150th anniversary.

    Mr Brown highlights the campaign on safety unions and workers undertook after the Piper Alpha disaster.

    He stresses the governemnt is committed to effective industrial realtions in Scotland.

    The minister says the efforts of trade unions in Scotland have contributed to much progress, but adds challenges still exist, including tackling zero hours contracts.

  3. Aberdeen has a proud industrial history says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Tom Mason
    Image caption: Tory MSP Tom Mason

    Tory MSP Tom Mason says that while he has not always agreed with decisions taken by ATUC, he is happy to celebrate its anniversary.

    Aberdeen has a proud industrial history, Mr Mason says.

    ATUC has been a part of many successes in Aberdeen's history, the Tory MSP adds.

  4. Labour MSP says it's an honour to lead ATUC anniversary debate

    Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald
    Image caption: Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald

    Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says it is an honour to lead this debate celebrating the 150th anniversary of the ATUC.

    Mr Macdonald says joining hands is symbolised in the badge of the ATUC.

    He says the creation of a single council in Aberdeen in 1868 was the culmination of years of effort in that direction.

    This took place earlier in Aberdeen than nearly anywhere else, he says.

  5. Here's the motion for the debate...

    Motion for the debate
  6. Aberdeen Trades Union Council debate

    Aberdeen Trades Union Council
    Image caption: Aberdeen Trades Union Council

    Labour MSP :Lewis Macdonald will now lead a member's debate marking the 150th anniversary of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

    The ATUC was formed in 1868 as the first permanent alliance of organised workers in different trades and industries in the north east and it continues to represent the interests of workers today

    The celebrations started with a civic reception, which was hosted by the Lord Provost and city council at the Town House on 7 March and will continue throughout the year at regular annual events.

    Mr Macdonald commends all who have been involved with the ATUC throughout its long and illustrious history.

  7. Rennie welcomes the news for the workers in Fife and Lewis

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
    Image caption: Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie welcomes the news for the workers in Fife and Lewis.

    The North East Fife MSP says the minister is right to be measured about this progress, as there are difficult times ahead and he asks about future pressure points.

    Mr Brown thanks Mr Rennie for his efforts on BiFab.

    The economy secretary says making sure the BOWL contract is completed is crucial.

  8. Green MSP asks about offshore wind sector deals

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell
    Image caption: Green MSP Mark Ruskell

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell says investment will be needed to secure the future of the company.

    He asks when Scottish Enterprise will be able to finalise its plans for these yards and asks about securing a sector deal for offshore wind coming from the UK government.

    Mr Brown says the investment by the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise is considerable.

    The Scottish government will collaborate with DF Barnes to consider its future further, he says.

    On sector deals, the minister suggests the Economy Committee question UK Business Secretary Greg Clark on the matter when he appears before it on Thursday.

  9. Labour MSP praises workers and unions for campaign to save BiFab

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
    Image caption: Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie welcomes the deal and salutes the efforts of the workers and unions for their campaign to save BiFab.

    Ms Baillie calls for the continuation of skilled labour at BiFab and a continued role for trade unions at the company.

    She says the government has provided loans and asks if the original £19m loan is the equity stake in the company.

    Mr Brown says: "The quantum of monies which is eventually provided by the government will be dependent on the extent to which it is drawn out as it is required by the company itself."

    He says DF Barnes have had a very productive relationship with unions in Canada and there is a very good opportunity for future collaboration.

  10. BiFab news welcomed by Scottish Conservatives

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser
    Image caption: Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser welcomes the "good news" for BiFab.

    Mr Fraser asks what assurances have been given about the number of jobs secured across the three sites.

    The Tory MSP also wonders about the total value of Scottish government support for the new purchaser.

    The economy secretary says jobs follow winning contracts and adds there is a commitment to growing the number of staff.

    He is unable to give information on the total value of support as it is commercially sensitive.

  11. 'The Scotish government believes BiFab can be a thriving business'

    Keith Brown recieves applause from first minister following BiFab statement
    Image caption: Keith Brown recieves applause from first minister following BiFab statement

    Mr Brown says he and the first minister met with the new owners, the existing management and the unions and everyone is commited to the future of BiFab.

    The economy secretary says the government will pressure the UK government to recognise the renewables sector in its industrial strategy.

    He says today's announcement shows perseverence can achieve results.

    "The Scotish government believes BiFab can be a thriving business."

    He is confident this agreement will deliver for BiFab's future in Fife and the Western Isles.

  12. Background: JV Driver, through subsidiary DF Barnes, takes over BiFab

    The Scottish government says the deal with JV Driver and DF Barnes will allow the yards to seek new fabrication and construction work in the marine, renewables and energy sectors.

    JV Driver is one of Canada's largest independently owned industrial construction companies.

    Its subsidiary, DF Barnes has been a consistent employer in the oil and gas, fabrication and marine industries for over 80 years.

    DF Barnes
    Image caption: DF Barnes

    DF Barnes chief executive Jason Fudge said the firm was excited to now have a major presence in Scotland.

    He added: "Scotland has been an admired world leader in the offshore oil and gas and renewable energy sectors and we are delighted to join with the employees of BiFab and the people of Scotland to ensure the continued growth of BiFab for the benefit of all. This is a great day for us."

    The agreement was welcomed by the GMB and Unite unions, who said they hoped it was the start of a "very bright future for our members and their families".

  13. Cabinet secretary confirms takeover of BiFab

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown
    Image caption: Economy Secretary Keith Brown

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown says a series of commitments made to BiFab back in November 2017 allowed the firm to delay its decision about going into administration.

    BiFab has now been acquired by DF Barnes, a subsidiary of a Canadian firm called JV Driver, the cabinet secretary confirms.

    The Scottish government is to expand a loan facility available to BiFab to complete the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Development contract, Mr Brown says.

  14. Background: First minister announces BiFab deal in at Methil yard

    The deal was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she visited the BiFab yard in Methil, where she met representatives of the Canadian firms as well as union officials.

    Ms Sturgeon said the government had been in talks with DF Barnes for several months, and described the agreement that had been reached as a "significant step forward in our efforts to restore BiFab to its place at the centre of Scotland's marine energy industry".

    The deal was announced by Nicola Sturgeon as she visited the BiFab yard in Methil
    Image caption: The deal was announced by Nicola Sturgeon as she visited the BiFab yard in Methil

    The first minister also stressed that there was "a lot of hard work ahead", and that there was "no magic bullet for these yards".

    But she said the commitment of DF Barnes gave BiFab the best chance of winning future contracts and securing new work.

  15. Background: Canadian firm takes over BiFab yards

    Burntisland Fabricators or BiFab
    Image caption: Burntisland Fabricators or BiFab

    The troubled BiFab engineering firm has been taken over by a Canadian company in a move that could save hundreds of jobs in Fife and on Lewis.

    BiFab had warned workers at its yards in Methil, Burntisland and Arnish that they faced possible redundancy.

    But JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, has now acquired BiFab as part of an agreement brokered by the Scottish government.

    BiFab in Arnish on the Isle of Lewis
    Image caption: BiFab in Arnish on the Isle of Lewis

    The Scottish government will remain a minority shareholder in BiFab.

    BiFab builds large-scale equipment for the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as platforms for offshore wind turbines and tidal generators.

    The government offered BiFab a £15m loan in November to help it avoid going into administration, but the firm remained under threat as its order book dried up with the completion of the Beatrice Wind farm contract in the Cromarty Firth.

    Read more here.