Innerleithen mill faces liquidation

Tweeddale MP David Mundell and local councillor Gavin Logan at Caerlee Mill after the closure announcement.
Tweeddale MP David Mundell and local councillor Gavin Logan at Caerlee Mill after the closure announcement.

The imminent closure of Caerlee Mills in Innerleithen, with the loss of 36 jobs, has been described as devastating for the town.

Scotland’s oldest working mill has been placed in provisional liquidation, a KPMG spokesman said yesterday, but it would continue to trade while searching for a buyer. The move is believed to relate to reduced orders from Italian-based main customer Ballantyne.

Caerlee was born after a management buy-out of JJ & HB 1788, which went into administration with the loss of 132 posts in 2010.

Tony Trench of the Unite union spoke to staff on Tuesday, and told The Southern: “It is devastating for this to have happened to these workers for the second time in three years.

“A third of the workforce have 250 years service between them.

“The hardest thing for these people is that when they moved across from JJ & HB they were promised bonuses in return for giving up certain terms and conditions, but never received any. Now they are back to where they started again.”

Tweeddale MP David Mundell said: “It would be a blow if Caerlee were to go, for the staff and for the town, as it is a very significant site.”

Local councillor Gavin Logan added: “Innerleithen has had more than its share of bad luck in recent years and I hope that every effort is being made to attract new businesses and jobs to the town.”