BBC Home > BBC News > Scotland

Innerleithen cashmere company axes 132 staff

20 January 10 16:25 GMT

More than 100 jobs are to go at one of Scotland's oldest cashmere firms which recently went into administration.

JJ & HB Cashmere will make the cuts at its Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen, and at sites in Galashiels and Coatbridge.

Some 44 staff will be retained as the administrator continues to seek a new buyer for the business.

Lib Dem MSP Jeremy Purvis described the news as "devastating" for the small Borders town where the company has its headquarters.

JJ & HB, formerly Ballantyne Cashmere, went into administration earlier this month.

All workers were initially retained but joint administrators BDO LLP said that was no longer possible.

They confirmed sites at Coatbridge and Galashiels would close with staffing cuts in Innerleithen.

In total 132 redundancies are being made with just 44 staff retained.

James Stephen, business restructuring partner, said: "Due to the loss of a major customer, it is highly regrettable that we've had to take this decision.

"However, we still hope to sell the remaining business and assets as a going concern and have already received an expression of interest in this respect."

Local MSP Mr Purvis it was a major blow for the area.

"This is devastating for all the affected staff in Innerleithen with the concern for those in Galashiels and Coatbridge also," he said.

"I have worked hard with the local agencies to press the case for a certain future for all jobs and I am deeply sorry for the constituents affected by the announcement today."

'Extremely disappointing'

He said the retention of some staff allowed discussions to continue about finding a buyer.

He added: "I will make every effort to try and help secure a future for production locally."

Finance Secretary John Swinney described the news as "extremely disappointing".

He said: "We will continue to examine potential opportunities for the site which could safeguard jobs.

"In the meantime, those immediately affected by this announcement can be assured that the Scottish government will do all we can to help them get back into work or training quickly."

Related BBC sites