YOUNG’S Seafood is to keep its Fraserburgh factory open and retain around 250 permanent jobs, the company announced today.
The decision came after a meeting with Scottish ministers and follows ‘extensive’ consultations.
Hundreds of jobs in the north-east will go, however, as a result of Young’s losing its £100 million Sainsbury’s salmon contract to Marine Harvest earlier this year.
The Grimsby based firm was considering closing its Scottish operations in Fraserburgh and Granton-on-Spey.
Senior officials have now agreed an alternative plan which will keep the Watermill Road plant in Fraserburgh open with a reduced operation.
It is understood that staff there will focus on hot and cold smoked Ready-to-Eat products, the Press and Journal reported today.
The company will also keep the Spey Valley site at Grantown-on-Spey open, retaining the traditional smoking facilities on the site.
Manufacture of other products will gradually transfer to alternative Young’s sites in Scotland and England by May 2016. The phasing of this plan is subject to consultation with Young’s customers.
Pete Ward, chief executive of Young’s Seafood, said: ‘Following extensive review, consultation with employee representatives and engagement with all interested stakeholders, we are now confirming our company’s decision to keep open our Fraserburgh Watermill Road and Grantown-on-Spey facilities.
‘We recognise the importance of the Fraserburgh and Spey Valley factories to their local communities and we are moving forward with a plan that will retain jobs at both of the sites.
‘This decision has not been taken lightly and we’d like to say thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to the site during this challenging time.’
Consultation with workers began last week over the proposed redundancies.
Business Minister Fergus Ewing convened a Joint Stakeholder Group, including Aberdeenshire and Highland councils, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the trade union Usdaw.
It was set up to identify immediate priorities and oversee work to develop a potential package of support to secure jobs.
Following the meeting, Ewing said: ‘I am pleased that Young’s is now exploring a revised option which would see their Fraserburgh factory remain open, albeit downsized to around 250 permanent staff – around half the current number – with no redundancies before 2016.’