Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Cable company confirms job losses

Emtelle has confirmed 35 jobs are to go in the Borders

A cable and ducting company in the Scottish Borders has confirmed plans to cut 35 jobs.

Emtelle, which has UK sites in Hawick and Jedburgh, has blamed the move on a "significant slowdown" in its business.

Company chairman George Brown said that it was with "considerable regret" that the decision had been taken to start consultation on the redundancies.

Conservative MSP John Lamont said it was "devastating news" for employees at such an early stage of the year.

Mr Brown said that Emtelle - in common with many other businesses - had seen trade suffer towards the end of last year.

He added: "After five years of steady growth, it is clear that 2009 will be a very difficult trading year."

For a great company like this to be suffering is a sign of just how serious the economic downturn has become

Michael Moore MP

Mr Brown said there was also a "lack of visibility" about when the situation might turn around.

"It is, therefore, with considerable regret that we are entering into a collective consultation process with regards to a proposal to make 35 jobs redundant," he said.

However, Mr Brown insisted the long-term prospects for the business remained "very positive".

Tory MSP Mr Lamont said the news was another blow for the area.

He said: "I know how frustrated the management and staff must feel about this news.

"Despite the success of the business, they are still being hit by external global economic factors."

He said he would ask the Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Enterprise to support the workers affected.

"We must do all we can to ensure the long-term future of Emtelle in the Borders," he added.

'World-leading company'

Lib Dem MP Michael Moore also voiced his concern at the announcement.

"For a great company like this to be suffering is a sign of just how serious the economic downturn has become," he said.

"Emtelle is a world-leading company which has great potential for the future, but that will be little comfort to the people who now face the prospect of losing their jobs.

"It is absolutely essential that local skills organisations and others provide all the necessary assistance as soon as the final outcome is known."

Emtelle currently employs 186 people in the Borders.

The firm has already reduced staff levels at a plant in Denmark and shed its sales team in the US.

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