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BBC Scotland's David Nisbet
"This kind of news is not new to people in the borders"
 real 28k

Kevin McKenzie reports from the Borders
"Confirmation of the deal clears up some of the uncertainty for Pringle"
 real 28k

Monday, 14 February, 2000, 19:15 GMT
Scottish jobs come and go

production line Fullarton makes electronic components

The mixed fortunes of Scotland's economy have been highlighted with the creation of more than 1,000 high-tech jobs but a further blow to a traditional industry.

Two companies have announced major investments but at the same time, the sale of clothing manufacturer Pringle of Scotland to a Hong Kong corporation is causing 140 redundancies in the Borders.

Fullarton Computer Industries is generating 700 jobs by creating a production facility, at Irvine, in Ayrshire.

Donald Dewar Donald Dewar: Welcomed jobs
The company, one of the biggest manufacturers of components for the European computer industry, employs 1,650 people at several factories in the area.

It has another plant in Dundee and employs a total of 3,000 people across Scotland.

First Minister Donald Dewar said: "This is excellent news for both Irvine and Ayrshire.

Workforce skills

"This continuing commitment to Ayrshire shown by FCI can only further enhance the reputation of a skilled and dedicated local workforce."

Chief Executive of Enterprise Ayrshire Liz Connolly said: "The quality and skills of the Ayrshire workforce were significant factors in persuading Fullarton to expand locally."

The announcement marks a sharp turnaround in fortunes for the company which shed 350 jobs in April 1998 at its plant in Gourock and 250 jobs at its headquarters in Kilwinning.

Mobiles The factory will make parts for mobile phones
Meanwhile, John McGavin Ltd has announced 400 jobs at a 20m factory making parts for mobile phones in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow.

The company, a subsidiary of the component manufacturer Pressac, will run the new plant in conjunction with its existing facility which has a workforce of 350.

And a 400m air traffic control centre at Prestwick has been given the official go-ahead, creating 700 construction jobs.

The project, which will be complete by the year 2006, will guarantee the future of the 530 air traffic controllers currently working at Prestwick.

Pringle jobs lost

But while the news is good for the west of Scotland, Dawson International, which owns Pringle of Scotland, has confirmed that 140 jobs are to go at factories in the Borders.

I can see this will help to drive the Pringle brand to a much higher level
Tony Taylor
It follows the provisional sale of Pringle, which employs nearly 450 people at plants in Hawick and Galashiels, to Hong Kong's Fang Brothers Knitting Ltd for about 10m.

Dawson said the deal would protect more than half the jobs in Hawick.

A further 60 employees will be transferred to Barrie Knitwear, Dawson's haute couture arm in Hawick.

Dawson's operations in Bonnyrigg, near Edinburgh, will close with most of the 95 employees offered positions at another factory.

Pringle label Pringle is being sold to a Hong Kong group
Pringle was put up for sale in September after the number of employees was cut from almost 2,000 to just 450 in five years.

Chairman of the Scottish Textiles Association Tony Taylor said: "The Fang brothers are a large, very important producer in the Far East and financially extremely strong.

"They've got their own retail brands, they've got a very strong prescence within the Chinese market itself, they export a tremendous number of items of knitwear and clothing into Europe and the UK and the American market.

"I can see this will help to drive the Pringle brand to a much higher level."

Meetings sought

Local politicians are seeking urgent meetings with the new owners amidst fears that the brand name and much of the work will be taken overseas.

The news is a further blow to Scotland's ailing textiles industry which has been hit by a succession of closures and lay-offs.

Daks Simpson and Baird Clothing have both lost substantial contracts with Marks and Spencer, while Russell Europe and Levi have been forced to cut jobs in the face of stiff overseas competition.

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See also:
16 Sep 99 |  Scotland
Union fears for Pringle jobs
06 Nov 99 |  Business
M&S axes another supplier
06 Apr 98 |  Business
Double blow for Scottish jobs
06 Apr 98 |  Business
Brown under pressure as output dips

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