Crossed wires over Peebles mill closure

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Robert Noble, March Street Mill, Peebles, The Mill has been forced to close after the owner failed to find a new buyer, 87 jobs will be lost.
Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Robert Noble, March Street Mill, Peebles, The Mill has been forced to close after the owner failed to find a new buyer, 87 jobs will be lost.
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MSP Christine Grahame has cleared up reports that Scottish Enterprise may be interested in taking over Robert Noble Mill in Peebles as office space as “crossed wires”.

The troubled mill is set to close by the end of 2015, with the loss of 87 jobs.

Ms Grahame said: “Scottish Enterprise did try to explore whether a third party taking over part of the site for training purposes was an option, but Nobles wanted the whole site utilised or not at all.”

Meanwhile, Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, branded business secretary Fergus Ewing’s response to the closure of the mill in Peebles as “incredibly disappointing”.

Mr Hume said: “At the end of June I asked the business secretary to step in and assist the company find a buyer for this hugely important local company, but in his reply to me he simply says that PACE [Partnership Action for Continuing Employment] will support staff through their redundancy.

“Whilst of course any support for staff is vitally important and welcome, it’s incredibly disappointing that the Minister has chosen not to take the step of assisting the company in finding a buyer ... the Scottish Government should be doing all it can to keep this business going.”

Ms Grahame said there was a limit to what the Scottish Government can do to help a private company.

She added: “My understanding is that if a buyer could have been found, they would have found a buyer.

“I’ve been told that the demise of the business was due to cheap production competition from China, plus the exchange rate.”