South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has written to the leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council urging him to act over the looming jobs crisis in Langholm. The MSP was responding to reports that Edinburgh Woollen Mill is planning to relocate its headquarters from Langholm to Carlisle.
Ms McAlpine, who praised the resilience of the Langholm community in her letter to Ronnie Nicholson, commented:
“The Muckle Toon is home to a very active community and has historically hosted many thriving industries. Of course the profile of local employment will change over the years, but what we’re now seeing happening in Langholm is being blamed by local people on council neglect.
“Dumfries and Galloway Council is responsible for local economic development, so the council must do more to save jobs in Langholm.
“Clearly the council in Carlisle understand the value of these jobs and has been working to entice the Edinburgh Woollen Mill to relocate. I want to know what our council in Dumfries and Galloway has done to encourage the company to stay.
“Protecting sustainable employment means being proactive and positive in your engagement with local employers. Instead, the local council took the Edinburgh Woollen Mill to court over a petty trading standards issue.
“The loss of Edinburgh Woollen Mill would be a huge blow to the town, coming on the back of the closure of the last mill, Border Fine Arts and the latest announcement that the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is poised to close unless it finds a buyer. I am asking the council to act urgently to prevent what could become a long-term crisis in local employment.”