Shock at Loanhead factory closure proposals

More than 100 local jobs look set to go after bakery giant Greggs announced plans to close three factories, including the one in Loanhead.

Thursday, 10th March 2016, 10:00 am
The Greggs factory in Loanhead has been in business for almost 18 years.

The 45-day consultation is yet to begin but Greggs plans to invest in its facility in Glasgow.

The potential loss of 107 jobs has been described as a “huge blow” by local politicians as efforts begin to support the workforce.

A meeting will be held later this week with senior company representatives.

A council spokesman said: “The news that Greggs has announced plans to close its facility in Bilston Glen, Loanhead, has come out of the blue and is a potentially devastating turn of events for the 107-strong workforce, their families and the wider community.

“As soon as we received the news, we were in communication with key agencies – such as the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland – as we begin the task of assessing what can be done to help and support the workers potentially affected. We know that a wide range of job types are undertaken at the bakery, such as managers, driver, bakers and admin staff.”

He continued: “We do not believe this is a ‘done deal’ and, along with doing all that we can to support the workforce at this difficult time, we will be in regular discussions with Greggs in the hope that there is a possibility of this decision being reversed.”

MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) has requested the Scottish Government provide support for the workers whose jobs are at risk. He flagged the issue with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions last week and received strong confirmation of Government support.

Mr Beattie is also seeking a meeting with Greggs’ management, including the union and staff, as well as the council.

He contined: “The closing of these facilities has the potential to be extremely destructive, and I am working hard to make sure that communities face minimal hardship in the face of job reductions.”

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson said:“Despite reporting a rise in profits I’m incredibly disappointed that Greggs have taken this decision.

“The closure of the Loanhead bakery will be felt by our community and impact on the Midlothian economy – 107 jobs is a huge blow. I have written to Greggs urging them to reconsider this decision.”

Midlothian West councillor Kelly Parry (SNP) said: “I will be working with the staff and unions involved to ensure that Greggs put in place measures to minimise the severe impact this will have to employees and the community.”