South Scotland

Edinburgh Woollen Mill move reports spark concern

EWM in Langholm Image copyright Google
Image caption Politicians have said any move from Langholm would be a blow to the town

A south of Scotland MSP is seeking answers from Edinburgh Woollen Mill after reports it is considering moving its headquarters from Langholm.

The SNP's Joan McAlpine said it would be a huge loss for the town where the firm was established in 1946.

She has written to chief executive Phillip Day for clarification about reported plans on a move to Carlisle.

Dumfriesshire Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell said it was not a "done deal" and hoped to keep the firm in Langholm.

"This is a huge blow to the town, coming on the back of the closure of the last mill, Border Fine Arts and the latest announcement that the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is poised to close unless it finds a buyer," said Ms McAlpine.

She said there was an onus on local Conservative politicians to put pressure on Mr Day not to "betray their constituents".

'Major brand'

Mr Mundell added: "The plans to move south of the border by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill are very disappointing considering the firm's historic links with Langholm and Eskdale.

"This is a major brand that was started up in the Muckle Toon and has a very strong heritage in Langholm so it seems a bizarre decision to want to potentially lose those links by moving to Carlisle.

"What needs to be stressed is that this isn't a done deal and I am keen to work with Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Scottish government and other interested stakeholders to ensure that there is a future for the Woollen Mill in Langholm."

Conservative MP David Mundell has called for a jobs summit in the town following a string of employment setbacks.

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