Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 09:48 UK

Swinney pledges Pringle support

John Swinney
John Swinney said the textile sector still had a good future

Finance Secretary John Swinney has promised "every support" will be given to workers affected by potential job cuts at Pringle of Scotland.

The company announced plans this week which could see 80 jobs go with the end of manufacturing in Hawick.

Mr Swinney met with management and unions to discuss the situation.

He said that while the Scottish Government had to accept the company's decision he hoped it could retain more of its activities in the region.

Pringle revealed its plans on Monday which it blamed on difficult and changing market conditions.

There is absolutely no reason why we cannot see good opportunities for the textiles sector in the Borders
John Swinney
Finance Secretary

Mr Swinney visited the town to see what action could be taken to tackle the situation.

"What the government will do is make sure that every support that we possibly can make available to individuals and the wider Hawick economy will be available," he said.

"Obviously if the company decides it no longer wishes to undertake its activities, we have to accept those decisions.

"But I will be talking to the company about what would make a difference to try to encourage them to retain more and more of their activity here in the Borders."

However, he said the textiles industry as a whole had a "very good future".

"There are a lot of strong textile companies in the Borders," he said.

"Obviously it is disappointing news about Pringle.

"But there is absolutely no reason why we cannot see good opportunities for the textiles sector in the Borders."


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