Newman Bonar Ltd (Closure)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 26 October 2023.

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Photo of Mercedes Villalba Mercedes Villalba Labour

I remind members of my entry in the register of members’ interests, which shows that I am a member of Unite, the union.

Today, it was announced that Newman Bonar Ltd, the company that was set up earlier this year to acquire historic Dundee textile manufacturer Bonar Yarns, is closing, risking the livelihoods of 57 workers and their families. I invite the First Minister to take this opportunity to join the provisional liquidators in asking that any party that has an interest in acquiring the business contact them. Will the First Minister join me in fighting to save those important manufacturing jobs in Dundee?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I share Mercedes Villalba’s clear disappointment that Newman Bonar has gone into liquidation. My immediate thoughts are with the staff and their families, who are again going through uncertainty. The Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy had met and written to the company in recent months to encourage it to fully engage with Scottish Enterprise so that every available option to save the business could be explored. I know that the business has had a long-standing presence in the community and is an important local employer.

We will certainly do everything that we can in our power to protect jobs and the manufacturing footprint in Dundee. Scottish Enterprise is engaging directly with the liquidator to better understand the situation, given last night’s announcement. As a Government, we stand ready to provide support to any employees who potentially face redundancy through partnership action for continuing employment—PACE. I will keep Mercedes Villalba updated on how conversations are going.