South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“This is absolutely devastating news for Annan and really is the last thing the town needs. I am shocked and angered by the complete lack of loyalty shown by Young’s Seafood to the local area, particularly given the fact that many of the local workforce have been employed on site for decades.
“This will be an incredibly difficult time for the many people who will be coming to terms with the news. I stand ready to help in any way I can, and I urge people affected to get in touch with me.
“I have already been in touch with Scottish Ministers asking what help they can offer. The new South Scotland Enterprise Partnership will play a key role in securing urgent additional investment in the Annan area in attempt to make up for such a huge loss.”
Annandale South Councillor Henry McLelland said:
“This is terrible news for the town. Pinneys is by far our biggest employer. At this moment my immediate thoughts are with the workforce who have to try and find a way to come to terms with and absorb this devastating news.
“Pinneys has been a prime employer in the town for many years and losing it will be a major blow to our local economy. More than ever we need to see speedy efforts; the parts the new South Scotland Enterprise Partnership and Borderlands Initiatives will play are enormous.
“It is particularly galling that Young’s Seafood make this closure announcement on the same day they have been awarded a major contract from Marks and Spencer.
“With a workforce of ten percent of Annan’s working population there is a desperate need for both the Scottish and UK Governments to find a solution in what is already a fragile local economy. In the last few weeks there have been job losses at Johnson Matthey. The Chapelcross site employs much less personnel now as it goes through the decommissioning process. The MOD at Eastriggs is moth-balled.
“It’s not that long ago a proposal to move the prawn processing to Thailand from Annan was thwarted. It is possible that Young’s Seafood could be persuaded to change their minds. I note Bill Showalter, the chief executive officer of Young’s Seafood, comments: “Today’s proposals to close our Young’s Pinneys site does not reflect on the committed and skilled teams at Young’s Pinneys – they are a credit to our company and if these proposals do go ahead we will work hard to maintain the employment of all colleagues throughout this transition.” We will hold them to that.”