South Scotland

Penman Engineering job losses 'devastating'

Penman Engineering

South of Scotland politicians have voiced "deep disappointment" over job losses at an armoured vehicle firm which is in administration.

The SNP's Joan McAlpine said her thoughts were with the families of the 35 staff affected.

Conservative MP David Mundell and Labour MSP Colin Smyth said it was a "blow to the area" although not entirely unexpected.

Administrators said the move was due to "insufficient work".

Ms McAlpine said she had remained in contact with trade unions throughout the process and was "deeply disappointed" by the move.

"I would urge the administrators to do everything they possibly can to find a buyer for the company and safeguard the remaining 95 jobs," the MSP said.

Mr Mundell added: "I am committed to doing all I can to ensure that any further job losses can be avoided at this historic firm which is why I met with the administrators this week to discuss how to go forward.

"In my role as Secretary of State for Scotland, I will be supporting the process to find a suitable buyer as quickly as possible."

'Viable concern'

Dumfriesshire Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell said: "I am particularly concerned that the workers who have been made redundant may not have been paid in full and I hope these issues can be resolved as quickly as possible."

Mr Smyth said he suspected the news would not have been a surprise to the workforce.

"However, that doesn't make it any less devastating for the families involved," he said.

"The administrators need to pull out all the stops to ensure a buyer is secured, and secured quickly for what most people believe is a viable going concern."

Dumfries and Galloway SNP MSP Richard Arkless has been holding a series of meeting with administrators in Westminster this week, in an effort to secure a future for the firm.

Mark Ranson, of administrators Armstrong Watson, confirmed 35 workers had been made redundant.

"All affected employees have been informed and specialist members of my team were made available to them to assist in the completion of their claim forms," he said.

"Also in attendance were members of the Scottish government's PACE team who were able to provide those employees with guidance and assistance.

"There remain 95 employees on site."

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