Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Glencraft staff 'could get lifeline'

Glencraft worker
There were emotional scenes when Glencraft closed in November

Staff who lost their jobs with the closure of a factory for blind and disabled workers could be thrown a lifeline, it has been announced.

Glencraft in Aberdeen closed in November with the loss of 51 jobs and liquidators have been seeking buyers.

On a visit to the factory, First Minister Alex Salmond revealed Aberdeen-based Production Services Network (PSN) hoped to help.

Efforts are under way to agree a funding package for a business plan.

The factory had operated since 1843 but closed in November.

This will only work if the business and wider community matches our commitment
Bob Keiller
PSN chief executive

The Glencraft board blamed the city council's lack of support for the collapse. However, the council argued it had tried everything it could to help.

Energy company PSN believes a new enterprise could build on the work of the previous company.

The new venture, Glencraft (Social Enterprise) Ltd, would retain charitable status and offer as many former staff as possible the opportunity of new employment.

The Scottish government and partners, including Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Enterprise, are working with PSN to agree a funding package.

Staff were said to be "thrilled" at the news.

'Successful future'

Mr Salmond said: "With a tradition stretching back over 150 years, Glencraft has been a well-respected brand, making quality products and providing valuable jobs in the community.

Glencraft
Aberdeen's Glencraft had been in operation since 1843

"I am delighted to announce that PSN intends to offer employees a lifeline and the opportunity to build a successful future from this prestigious past.

"The skills and expertise of staff should not be wasted, and the aim is that a new business would employ as many former employees as possible."

PSN chief executive Bob Keiller said: "Glencraft epitomises the north east's philanthropic and entrepreneurial tradition.

"We will inject stronger business principles through refreshed leadership, marketing expertise and fundraising support to ensure Glencraft once again becomes a successful and sustainable business.

"But this will only work if the business and wider community matches our commitment."

Heather Meldrum, regional director of Community Union, which represents former Glencraft employees, said: "Our objective remains to get our members back into sustainable employment as soon as possible, so this announcement is a positive first step and we will be seeking urgent talks to take this forward."



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SEE ALSO
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Plea over blind workers' factory
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Closed factory interest expressed
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Appeal amid factory's tearful end
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Glencraft finances 'very serious'
10 Nov 09 |  North East/N Isles
Factory wind up proceedings begin
09 Nov 09 |  North East/N Isles
Disability firm into liquidation
06 Nov 09 |  North East/N Isles

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