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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Timber company set to cut 70 jobs
Timber
The company specialises in making garden fittings
A timber firm is to close part of its operations in south west Scotland with the loss of up to 70 jobs.

Forest Garden has confirmed it is to stop manufacturing at its Steven's Croft factory in Lockerbie.

It is moving manufacturing and distribution operations to its plants at Eardisley and Hartlebury in England.

The company stressed that the decision would not affect employees at its Lockerbie sawmill, where it has about 100 workers.

Forest Garden has started a 30-day consultation period after which it is expected the jobs will go.

As a company we very much regret a situation where anybody's job becomes threatened
Ken Way
Human resources manager

Human resources manager Ken Way said: "It has been decided that it would be efficient and effective to move our manufacturing from Lockerbie and absorb that work at the other two sites.

"That is the basis of the reorganisation that we have announced this week."

He added that the company remained committed to the sawmill at Steven's Croft.

"Our Lockerbie site, I can confirm, is very much an integral part of our business going forward and is certainly not going to be closed," he said.

'Bad news'

"As a company we very much regret a situation where anybody's job becomes threatened.

"We will do everything we can to mitigate any job losses through absorption within Lockerbie or transfer to our other sites."

Dumfriesshire Tory MP David Mundell expressed his disappointment at the announcement.

"This is very bad news and inconsistent with everything that we have previously been told about the future development of Steven's Croft," he said.

"This is an established forestry-processing centre - Steven's Croft was purpose-built for this industry - and it is vital that we don't just produce timber but we add value to that by processing it."

Speaking at First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond expressed his "sympathy and solidarity" with the affected workers.


SEE ALSO
Timber transport troubles tackled
28 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Holyrood hears timber trade fears
18 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Timber firm in jobs announcement
17 Dec 99 |  Scotland

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