THE demise of DC Dalgliesh would have been a “real loss” to the Borders, according to Selkirkshire councillor Vicky Davidson.
The Dunsdale mill looked set to close, with the loss of 17 jobs, until online tartan supplier Scotweb stepped in with a six-figure investment this week.
Ms Davidson, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for economic development, told The Wee Paper: “I am very pleased for the Selkirk-based staff and the company that DC Dalgliesh has been saved from closure.
“This niche, specialist tartan producer would have been a real loss from our local textiles sector, so it is positive to see that Scotweb, one of their customers, has so much faith in the business and its products.
“It is a great reminder that our traditional Borders businesses still produce some of the best textiles products in the world.
“The council’s economic development team has met Nick Fiddes of Scotweb with a view to assisting with their plans to grow and develop the company.”
DC Dalgliesh had struggled to compete with cheap imports, though it is the world’s last traditional tartan weaver.
Dr Fiddes, whose Edinburgh company has already taken on an extra weaver, said: “Financially, DC Dalgliesh has been in trouble for a couple of years.
“As their leading customer, we have propped them up by giving them loans in the past. They came to us earlier this year and explained the situation and asked if we could do anything to help.
“We looked into it and felt it was in the interests of the industry that the company remains. We are taking it on as a going concern with its debts and are making a six-figure investment.
“We have no plans for redundancies.”
The Dalgliesh family will still have a presence at the mill, with Euan becoming the third generation of the family to run the factory after his appointment as general manager.
Dr Fiddes added: “We believe with some better marketing the firm could expand in future, particularly the manufacturing.
“The textile industry in the Borders has gone through some tough times recently and we think there are a lot of skilled workers around who we could use.”
Dr Fiddes assured the staff that the 64-year-old company would remain in Selkirk.
He said: “There are larger mills producing a few hundred different tartans but DC Dalgliesh is the only one to be able to make thousands of tartans, which would otherwise be lost.
“It is also the only company to weave in a short length so that a single skirt or kilt can be woven in any tartan.
“It means this company is important to Scottish heritage.
“The mill will continue to operate independently, and provide the same outstanding quality of product and service to all its customers worldwide.”