Lochcarron managing director steps down

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FORMER Lochcarron of Scotland chief David Ogilvie has insisted there is “nothing sinister” behind his sudden decision to resign from the Selkirk-based company.

Mr Ogilvie left the knitwear firm this week with immediate effect after 19 years as financial and, latterly, managing director.

He quit following investment from chairman Alistair Buchan and the bank to safeguard Lochcarron’s future.

But the 48-year-old maintains the need to take a break was the principle motivation behind his resignation.

Mr Ogilvie told TheSouthern: “There is nothing sinister in my decision.

“I woke up for the first time in 20 years and thought, ‘I do not want to go to work today’.

“As managing director I felt there was no point sitting in meetings when I knew I would not be there in a couple of weeks.

“I had already started packing up my desk and I felt it was better for everybody that I move on before those meetings.”

Under Mr Ogilvie’s stewardship, Lochcarron moved its Galashiels factory on Huddersfield Street to Dunsdale Road in Selkirk in 2006.

He says he is proud of the visitor centre which was also opened in Selkirk in 2007, as well as Lochcarron’s expansion into the USA, Canada and Japan, and the growth of its brand.

But he also reflected on the decision by the 64-year-old firm to close its Hawick factory in 2009, with the loss of 32 jobs.

He said: “It was tough, it is never nice when people lose their jobs.

“It was a sign of the times but if we had not made that decision the whole company could have been brought down.

“As I said at the time, our skilled workers were taken on by other Hawick knitwear firms, who benefited from our absence in the town.”

In a statement to workers this week, Mr Ogilvie admitted the firm has faced “challenging times”.

He said: “Having got through 2010, I think most of us believed that 2011 would allow us to draw breath and look forward to a better year.

“However, with the bad weather over the festive period and the resulting inability to trade, we were once again put on the back foot.

“As a result, an approach was made to the shareholders to inject new funds into the company, to give us breathing room going forward.

“I’m delighted to report that Alistair Buchan has agreed to this request and the bank has indicated that they will support our cash flow plans on that basis.

“Consequently, with the company’s future now secure, I feel that it is now time for me to step aside and allow the company to take a fresh look at its strategies and future plans.”

Mr Buchan said there were no plans to reduce the current workforce of 80 at Lochcarron’s Selkirk base.

He told us: “We are not taking people on but we are relatively busy.

“We are going through the difficult months of winter at the moment but I would not have invested more money into the business if I was not optimistic about the future.”

Mr Buchan added that a consultant was currently looking at the structure of the company and a decision on the managing director role vacated by Mr Ogilvie would not be made for three months.