Mill closes but talks offer hope
A highly-regarded weaving mill in Langholm is to close tomorrow (Thursday) but hopes are high that a management buyout bid will soon see it reopen.
Drove Weaving in Langholm is being closed by its parent company, Selkirk-based Lochcarron of Scotland.
The decision brings to an end four decades of top-of-the-range weaving at the Glenesk Road factory, which until recently employed 16 staff.
However, Robbie Trussler, who launched Drove Weaving almost 42 years ago, believes negotiations with Lochcarron over a potential management buy-out provide hope for the future.
He said: “We are open to discussions. The time has come to discuss seriously and positively in this coming week.
“We want a management buyout because we have a personal relationship with all our small customers, we weave all different varieties of fabrics.
“We’re a hands-on company which offers a service to the small cottage weaver-type person and they are very much concerned that we are not going to be here anymore, because there’s not many can do what we do, because of our versatility.
“It’s all old machinery that does a job. We don’t run it miles per hour, we run it yards per hour.
“I’m upbeat about the next round of negotiations and the body language coming from Selkirk.
“The landlord is more than happy with the business continuing here and hopefully we can give it a go and employ another four to six people.
“I’ve been in the business 56 years. I’m told we’re doing a good job and I’d like to continue.”
Dawn Robson-Bell, the managing director of Lochcarron of Scotland, said: “Drove Weaving will cease operations in its current form as a division of Lochcarron and will be closing at the end of this week.
“However, we are in discussions with two interested parties, one of which is the current management team.
“The door is not closed on this and we will continue with these negotiations to see if we can find a mutually-acceptable outcome.
“We are aware the impact the loss of this service could have on commission customers and we have already offered commission weaving as an option from our site in Selkirk and we have made contact with the majority of the current customer base to advise of this.”