South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said the closure of the pharmaceutical factory in Newbie could be devastating for the local community.

The factory, which is owned by Macfarlan Smith, a subsidiary of American firm Veranova, has announced that a consultation has been launched about the future of the site.

It currently employs more than 60 people.

Colin Smyth said: “This news must be very worrying for all staff and their families, and is another blow to the community, and my thoughts are first and foremost with everyone affected.

“The announcement of the consultation came completely out of the blue, given that there has been investment on the site.

“But at the end of the day, the Annan factory will be little more than a line on a balance sheet to pharmaceutical giant Veranova.

“Although there will be calls for the company to think again about potentially closing the factory, sadly we know that when big business makes these decisions, they rarely change their mind.

“The people of Annan know this better than most – just look at Pinneys.

“It’s been five years since that factory closed and despite promises that it would re-open, there is still no sign of production re-starting.

“We need all our agencies to work together to support those affected by this decision to help them find new employment as quickly as possible should this plan go ahead.

“This announcement shows that business as usual isn’t enough. This time it’s the MacFarlan Smith site at Newbie but tomorrow it could be yet another closure. The need for a proper industrial strategy for communities such as Annan has never been more important.”


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