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Calls for Scottish Rivers to be dredged

There are calls for rivers to be dredged in Southern Scotland to cope with future flooding especially in rural areas.

The president of NFU Scotland made the claims during a visit to a farm in Dumfries and Galloway that was badly damaged in December's floods.

"The river system's not been able to cope the water has to go somewhere so the idea ourselves the union and SEPA and councils is sitting down and trying to get river systems to work properly so that does mean dredging that does mean managing the river system."

– Allan Bowie, President NFU Scotland

Flood damaged supermarket reopens

Carlisle's Tesco superstore reopens today after being closed following last December's floods.

Everything inside the store is brand new after the flood water destroyed everything in its path.

The store's 400 staff had been redistributed but are now back in the city.

"To just get the store back and the community, for customers to be coming in and shopping would be great.

"For the colleagues themselves to have been out over the last seven and a half weeks all over the county working in various store they just want to have a home back."

– Phil Peasron, Store Manager

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Team to help former Hawick Knitwear workers find employment

Hawick Knitwear. Credit: ITV Border

Workers who have been made redundant from Hawick Knitwear are to be offered help from a skills development team to find new work.

Local MP Calum Kerr made the announcement, and revealed that Scottish Business Minister Fergus Ewing is to visit the town next Wednesday.

The firm's owners put it into administration yesterday (7 January), and administrators KPMG announced that 123 of the 179 members of staff would be made redundant.

While MP Calum Kerr is says he is confident of finding a buyer for the company, he says it could mean the firm having to downsize:

There is a real opportunity here for a buyer to take ownership of a fantastic company, workforce and brand, but the next couple of weeks are going to be critical.

There is a strong demand worldwide for premium knitwear products and this business is more than capable of servicing that market.

We do have to recognise, though, that we need to create a profitable and sustainable business. That may involve the firm moving to smaller and more suitable premises within Hawick, and it’s highly improbable we’ll be able to sustain a future workforce at current levels.

As well as looking towards a future for the business, we now have to also focus on giving every possible support to those who have been made redundant.

It is hugely worrying for them and their families and the worst time of the year for this to happen. However, the Scottish Government and other agencies will do everything they can to help.

A PACE team will now move in and work to match up those who have lost their jobs with employers locally who are looking to take on new staff and also to offer training opportunities."

– Calum Kerr MP

Employees shocked at Hawick Knitwear decision

William Hush is a former employee of Hawick Knitwear. Credit: ITV Border

A former employee of Hawick Knitwear says the workforce was left shocked by the abrupt decision to place the company into administration.

William Hush worked at the firm in almost every role for 38 years.

He says that the biggest problem now is that former employees are feeling isolated, with nowhere to turn.

It's devastating and shocking in equal measures.

It just happened so quickly - nobody knew it was coming.

It was so impersonal. We've been told to go online to apply for any jobs. I'm worried that everyone is going to be feeling so isolated. "

– William Hush, former employee

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Hawick Knitwear: employees talking to administrators

Hawick Knitwear has stopped trading. Credit: ITV Border

The Provost of Hawick has told ITV Border that employees of Hawick Knitwear are currently in talks with administrators KPMG, about the future of the company.

Stuart Marshall - himself a former employee of Hawick Knitwear - says he's working with local politicians from all parties:

It's a devastating start to 2016 for the people of Hawick.

Hawick Knitwear is filled with the most hardworking people you could ever hope to find.

It's a major blow for a town that has already suffered many setbacks in the industry over the years.

I will now be working with local politicians who are all united in the fight to save the future of this company."

– Cllr Stuart Marshall, Provost of Hawick

Hawick Knitwear job losses 'highlight need for more investment' in Borders

123 people have been made redundant. Credit: ITV Border

More than 100 jobs are set to be lost at Hawick Knitwear, as the company has been placed into administration.

A representative for the local Labour party says his heart goes out to the workers affected, and that the news shows the need for more investment and jobs in the Scottish Borders:

To say I’m sad about the job losses is an understatement and my heart goes out to every worker and family in Hawick who will be affected by this.

The booming textile industry was once the backbone of the Borders that employed thousands of workers but for a long time has been in decline, but what’s important is that we do everything we can to make sure that the workers of Hawick Knitwear are given assistance with future employment and that they get all the help they need and I want to make it clear that Scottish Labour in the Borders will do everything it can to help.

The latest job losses further highlight the need for more investment and jobs being created in the Borders."

– Barrie Cunning, Scottish Labour

MSP working to secure Hawick Knitwear jobs

John Lamont, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, has said he's working as hard as he can to secure jobs, following the decision to place Hawick Knitwear into administration:

We'd hoped that we'd been through the worst of the job losses. Knitwear and textiles in the Borders has faced some tough times but we'd hoped that things would be a bit more stable.

But clearly the world economy is still not as strong as it once was and we face tough times, and clearly the management here have had a very tough decision to make and we're now working as hard as we can to try and secure the future of these jobs."

– John Lamont, MSP, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

Borders MP responds to Hawick Knitwear job losses

Calum Kerr MP Credit: PA

Commenting on the news that Hawick Knitwear has today gone into administration with 123 employees being made redundant, Calum Kerr, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said:

This news is shattering for Hawick and the Borders and I want to express my profound sympathies for all those who have been made redundant as a result.

I have been in touch with the Scottish Enterprise, which is seeking to have early meetings with the company to to see what help it can provide. I'll also be reaching out to the administrators to offer any support I can in working to secure a future for the company.

Hawick Knitwear is a hugely respected operation with a top class reputation within the industry and a brilliant, dedicated workforce. It has a long history in the town dating back to 1874 and is very much part of its industrial heritage.

I believe that real opportunities do exist for the business to succeed. This is always a challenging time of year in the knitwear sector, but the company has a strong history in high end products such as cashmere and this is very much where the market is heading, with consumers worldwide eager to buy these products.

I am happy to play any role I can in securing the company's future. In the meantime, if any of the workforce feel I can be of help, then I would urge them to get in touch with me or my MSP colleague Paul Wheelhouse without delay.

– Calum Kerr MP
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