More mill jobs lost but hope’s on the horizon

The Borders textile industry has been hit by another jobs blow but hope is also on the horizon with the relaunch of a highly-regarded weaving mill.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 5:34 pm
Hawico in Hawick.
Hawico in Hawick.

Luxury cashmere company Hawico, based in Duke Street in Hawick, has announced nine job losses.

The axe has fallen as a direct result of Covid-19.

A company spokesperson said: “Due to the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the directors of Hawico have announced eight redundancies and one voluntary redundancy.

“The full impact of Covid-19 is now being felt across all aspects of the business.

“Regrettably this means we need to match production levels to this reduced demand.

“We hope that when a vaccine is found business will soon return to normal.”

It’s been a tough few months for the region’s textile industry as it attempts to combat the impact the ongoing pandemic is having on the trade.

Earlier this month it was announced that at least 20 staff at Johnstons of Elgin cashmere company were to lose their jobs.

The workers at the Moray-based firm’s Mansfield Road mill and satellite sites in Innerleithen and Walkerburn are set to be made redundant by the end of October as part of a restructuring exercise costing 131 jobs company-wide.

Last week, Selkirk-based weaving mill Lochcarron of Scotland, based at Waverley Mill in Rogers Road, announced a further 14 job cuts which are needed to secure the long-term future of the business, which also incorporates a visitor centre and coffee shop in Selkirk’s Dunsdale Road.

Amidst the gloom there has emerged a glimmer of good news for Lochcarron, the parent company of Drove Weaving in Langholm.

The Glenesk Road factory closed at the end of July with the loss of 16 jobs.

But it has now been announced that the plant has been purchased and is to be relaunched next week, although the number of employees it is to take on is not yet known.

Dawn Robson-Bell, managing director of Lochcarron of Scotland said: “We are pleased to announce the plant and equipment at Drove Weaving premises in Langholm has been purchased by Mr Ian Maxwell which will allow Drove Weaving to continue the tradition of weaving manufacturing in Langholm.

“Drove Weaving had been part of the Lochcarron business for over 20 years and was privately owned for some 20 years before this. We are happy to have reached an agreement with Mr Maxwell, who will take over from September 1 and we will continue to support him and the team at Drove as much as possible with the new venture.

“Mr Maxwell is well known around Langholm and has a great interest in the continuation of the weaving tradition the town has been known for over many decades and he hopes to develop the business beyond its current commission customer base.

“We wish them every success in this and hope Drove Weaving continues for many years to come.”