Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said Young’s Seafood should not profit from the sale of the Pinneys site, as he revealed the former seafood factory has been put on the market for a multi-million-pound price tag.

The 150,000 square foot site on Stapleton Road in Annan is now being marketed for sale by Leed’s firm Dove Haigh Phillips, prompting local MSP Colin Smyth to once again urge Young’s to hand over the site, pointing to the fact the factory was now a liability for the company who would face a rates bill of over £110,000 a year when it closes.

It is understood that there are now two remaining interested parties in possibly buying the current site. As the full closure of the factory is now imminent Young’s will be hoping to make a quick sale to make sure that the factory does not sit as a liability on their books.

Colin Smyth said, “As production has now ceased at Pinneys, Young’s will be looking for a quick sale to avoid paying rates on a site they are no longer using. With two interested parties Young’s may will have a say over the future of the site and local economy. I would urge them to show loyalty to the people of Annan, who have shown Pinneys loyalty over four decades and accept the best offer in terms of creating jobs and growing the local economy. This may mean taking the lower financial deal but at the end of the day Young’s should not profit from the sale of Pinneys and the job losses they have caused.”

The local MSP has also written to Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, urging the Government to step up its support for workers including holding a further Jobs Fair in the town. The call comes after it was revealed last week that 2Sisters were creating 200 food processing jobs in Carlisle, which Colin Smyth believes could provide opportunities for some Pinney’s workers.

Production at Pinneys ceased last week with all but 50 employees now left Young’s employment. However, a recruitment drive is now also announced at Carlisle plant – Cavaghan & Gray – after owners 2 Sisters have been awarded Marks & Spencer contracts.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “The top priority in the response to the closure of Pinney’s has been to find and secure alternative employment for every worker and that must continue. The previous Jobs Fair was a success in bringing companies to the area who had actual job vacancies.

Due to the success of the previous Jobs Fair it is essential that another is organised quickly, preferably this month, given that production has now ceased at Pinneys. We heard the news last week that 200 jobs are to be created in Carlisle, workers leaving Pinney’s have the skills and expertise required to fulfil M&S contracts. A Jobs Fair held in the next few weeks would be timely to help as many former Pinney’s workers secure these jobs.”

Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall said, “As a local Councillor and Chair of Annan Regeneration Steering Group I had the opportunity to attend the first jobs fair in Victoria Halls and due to the success and fantastic turnout I would also strongly support a second jobs fair in the next few weeks as the gates finally close on the Pinneys site.

Also after putting forward the motion that has seen 250k awarded by South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership to fund a team to help and support the Pinneys workforce and develop an action plan I have been involved in identifying a High Street property that can House the team and hope to have this open very soon so that Former Pinneys workers can continue to receive the support needed to get them back into work.”

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