Eyemouth crab processor announces factory closure plans
A crab processing factory in the Scottish Borders is facing closure, threatening more than 80 jobs.
Burgons of Eyemouth has started a consultation process with 32 permanent staff and 49 seasonal workers.
The company's owners said the move was in response to serious financial losses sustained by the business over the past few years.
Local politicians will meet the firm's management on Wednesday to discuss the future of the factory.
In a statement, the company's directors said: "The owners of Burgon have today informed their staff that due to continued losses at the business they are considering closing the Burgon operation at Eyemouth.
"As such, the owners have warned all the employees based at the site that their jobs are at risk of redundancy.
"Employee representatives will be appointed and will work closely with the owners to consider alternatives to redundancy or ways of avoiding redundancies.
"Burgons of Eyemouth was purchased from the previous owners in July 2012.
"Since then, and despite investments of over £500,000, the business has suffered serious financial losses that have been supported by the parent company (The Blue Sea Food Company).
"These losses can no longer be sustained."
They added: "Discussions have already commenced with staff, customers, suppliers, Scottish Enterprise, the local council, Marine Scotland and MSPs, as well as the wider seafood industry, to seek any way of either continuing the business or mitigating job losses."
Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, John Lamont, said: "This is terrible news for staff in the run-up to Christmas.
"It would be a massive blow to families and the local economy to lose such a large and well-established employer.
"There will also be wider implications on the Berwickshire fishing industry if Burgons was to close."
He added: "I know the Scottish government have intervened before in similar circumstances, which is why I have written to the business minister to see what can be done."
SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Calum Kerr, said: "This news is a devastating blow to the workers at Burgons and their families and is clearly going to have a negative impact on the economy of Eyemouth and beyond.
"The fact that this dreadfully bad news has come in the run-up to Christmas makes it a particularly difficult time for those involved and I have the greatest sympathy for the situation they now find themselves in.
"I know that the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council will all do everything they can to provide support.
"Ministers are already putting a dedicated team in place to provide help which is tailored to the individual needs of those involved."