Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 17:44 UK

Jobs lost as paper maker closes

Paper roll (generic)
The paper mill at Guardbridge specialises in top-end paper products

A paper mill in Fife has ceased production, with the loss of 180 jobs.

Curtis Fine Papers, in Guardbridge near St Andrews, had been experiencing financial difficulty. Several attempts to sell the company had failed.

Administrators KPMG were called into the site on Thursday morning and announced the majority of workers would be made redundant.

A skeleton staff of about 80 people will be kept at the firm, which has been trading for 135 years.

Curtis Fine Papers, an independent business specialising in top-end uncoated paper products, had an annual turnover of 35m and employed 260 people.

This is a devastating blow for Guardbridge and the local economy
Sir Ming Campbell
MP for North East Fife

However, in recent years it suffered significant losses and a decline in the availability of credit.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator at KPMG, said: "It is with regret that we have had to make substantial redundancies across Curtis Fine Papers operations and we are working with government agencies to ensure the employees' issues are dealt with as best as possible."

The company was taken over in a management buy-out in 2006.

A mill in Auchendinny, owned by Curtis, was closed in 2004 and many jobs were transferred to Guardbridge.

North East Fife MP, Sir Ming Campbell, and MSP, Iain Smith, have requested a meeting with Finance Secretary John Swinney to discuss whether the Scottish Government could help keep the mill as a going concern or find new jobs for the workers.

In a joint statement, the Liberal Democrat politicians said: "This is a devastating blow for Guardbridge and the local economy.

"The paper mill has been a major employer for more than 100 years and it is deeply concerning that 180 jobs have been lost with immediate effect and another 80 threatened.

"We will also be seeking an urgent meeting with KPMG to explore the prospects for salvaging jobs at the mill."

Jobs lost in paper mill shutdown
01 Jun 04 |  Scotland
Job loss fears at paper company
26 Apr 04 |  Scotland

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