NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Fears over 500 jobs at Stoneywood paper mill in Aberdeen

Stoneywood paper mill
Image caption Parent company Sequana failed in a bid to sell the Stoneywood mill last week

The future of an Aberdeen paper mill which employs hundreds of people is uncertain after its parent company went into administration.

A deal to sell the Arjowiggins Stoneywood mill fell through last week.

Parent company Sequana said it would work with administrators to find a buyer for the business, which has about 500 staff.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said the Scottish government and Scottish Enterprise were ready to help.

In a statement, Sequana said the boards of directors of some of Arjowiggins' companies in the UK had decided to file notices of appointment of an administrator for several companies:

  • AW UK Holdings Ltd
  • Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers Ltd
  • ArjoWiggins Chartham Ltd
  • Arjowiggins Sourcing Ltd
  • Arjobex Ltd
  • Performance Papers Ltd

"These companies operate the mills of Stoneywood, Chartham and Clacton," it said.

"Under the aegis of administrators, these procedures will help support the measures undertaken to find buyers for Arjowiggins' businesses."

Iain Fraser, a partner with the administrators FRP Advisory, blamed the company's problems in part on "difficult trading conditions".

He 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."

'Generations of success'

Tommy Campbell, regional officer for the Unite union, said it was an "anxious" time for workers.

Mr Campbell said he had been assured by the company's local management team as late as Monday evening that it had not gone into administration.

He 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 after contributing the most into making this site a profitable and continuous success for generations."

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