Tory father and son duo David and Oliver Mundell have been slammed after demanding the Scottish government buy a defunct factory from a company that abandoned its Scottish workforce in favour of Grimsby.
The Conservative politicians want the Scottish government to use public cash in order to buy its abandoned Annan plant from Young’s Seafood. The company closed the Pinneys factory in May this year with the loss of hundreds of jobs. Owners Young’s Seafood moved production from the Scottish site to Grimsby.
In a statement issued today, David Mundell, who is the Secretary of State for Scotland, said: “We are asking Young’s to release the site at a knock down price. The new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency or Scottish Enterprise should then promote or redevelop the factory.”
His MSP son Oliver Mundell added: “The Scottish Government has taken on sites in such situations before. In the case of loss-making Prestwick Airport they bought the business as well as facilitating financial support to other companies.”
However the demands from the Scottish Conservative politicians have been met with anger with critics accusing the Mundell’s of demanding the SNP fix a problem created by the Tory led UK government.
One poster on twitter said: “So Mundell’s government bungs Young’s a load of money to move jobs from Scotland to Grimsby and this is his response! Tories create problems for Scotland, slash Scotland’s budget then expect SNP to bail them out.”
SNP MP Angus McNeil tweeted: “Is this after the Mundells Tories gave Young’s money to create jobs in Grimbsy which was same number they cut in Annan! … David Mundell is shameless here.”
The messages were a reference to grants awarded to the Young’s plant at Grimsby with the aim of expanding the site and creating new jobs. In 2015, £1.3m in funding was provided by the then UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The 450 jobs created was the same number as were lost when the Annan factory closed. The company denied any link between the Grimsby grant and the Annan site closing.
A Scottish government statement said it was looking at every possibility for the future of the site.
“We have been working to identify and support any potential new investor to the site and last week announced £250,000 to help with the delivery of the Annan Action Plan and regenerate the local area following the closure of Pinneys,” it said.
“Our experienced multi-agency Partnership for Action on Continuing Employment (PACE) helped support a dedicated jobs fair in the town last week and we remain absolutely committed to exploring all possible options for the site and are working hard to try and achieve a positive outcome in this regard.”
The Mundell’s said they were writing to the Scottish government to take on the “ownership, management and marketing” of the site.
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