THE award winning Scottish salmon company St James Smokehouse has confirmed that it is interested in buying the Young’s Seafood Pinneys factory in Annan – and retaining all of the 450 people who work there.
The company is based in Annan and specialises in high quality hand crafted smoked salmon products.
The firm’s owner, Brendan Maher (pictured), told the Dumfries and Galloway Standard: ‘It’s true that I am interested. And all the people would be retained.
‘It’s a no-brainer. It would be business as usual because there would be no re-training for the guys.
‘There are three generations of workers there and it is almost in their DNA, in their genes, to do this sort of work.’
Maher said he was carrying out a viability study on the site, adding it would be a perfect fit for his business, but much would depend on the valuation Young’s placed on the factory.
He said the company was expanding thanks to increased demand and would need more people.
The Pinneys operation produced exclusively for Marks & Spencer, and Scottish politicians have pointed out the folly of businesses providing just one retailer. Maher said that St James Smokehouse had several clients.
Young’s announced ten days ago that it was proposing to close the Pinneys site by the end of the year because it was no longer financially sustainable.
The announcement has caused political uproar in Scotland, leading to criticism of both Young’s and M&S.
Five days ago, hundreds of people attended a mass meeting in Annan over the future of the factory. They were told three companies had expressed interest in taking over the site, Scottish enterprise and business minister Paul Wheelhouse said the Edinburgh government was in discussion with a number of companies.