Hundreds attend Pinneys of Scotland meeting in Annan

Image caption,
Concerned staff and members of the public attended the meeting in the Market Hall

Hundreds of people have attended a mass meeting over the future of a seafood factory in southern Scotland.

Parent company Young's Seafood has announced plans to move production from its Pinneys of Scotland site in Annan with the loss of at least 450 jobs.

About 250 people were in the town's Market Hall on Wednesday to hear the latest on a campaign to save the site.

Meanwhile, some details have emerged about three companies potentially interested in taking over the factory.

Two are believed to be local concerns involved in food processing with the third a national competitor of Young's Seafood.

Enterprise Minister Paul Wheelhouse told BBC Radio Scotland that the Scottish government was in discussion with a number of companies in relation to the site.

Image caption,
A number of potential buyers have emerged for the closure-threatened site in Annan

He said it was working with both potential buyers and those who could supply new contracts.

"We are confident that the companies we are speaking to are serious," he said.

"We do not know yet whether they will take forward any commercial interest but obviously that is contingent on the outcome of the consultation itself.

"At the moment there are no redundancies, there is a statutory consultation and we have to wait the outcome of that but we are clearly trying to prepare a plan B in the event there is a requirement for redundancies."

The mass meeting enjoyed cross-party support with South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Dumfriesshire Conservative Oliver Mundell and Dumfries and Galloway Council's Labour leader Elaine Murray among those in attendance.

'Great response'

The event was organised by the Save Our Pinneys campaign group launched last week by former employee Catrina Baxter.

She said it had been a useful forum.

"I think it has been a great response from all the MSPs and the councillors that have been here," she said.

"I think the workers have been able to get their point across which they haven't been able to do for over a week now.

"They have really gone away with a wee bit more knowledge of exactly what is happening and what is in the pipeline for them."

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