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Christine Grahame MSP reacts to mill closure

Christine Grahame MSP has been reacting to the closure of Caerlee Mills in her constituency:

"I have been in touch with the Scottish Government to see if there is some way of ensuring that these skilled employees, who have taken years to develop their skills in textiles, can be redeployed within the borders.''

– Christine Grahame MSP

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Attempts to find buyer fail

Liquidators had hoped to secure a new buyer for the mill which produces luxure cashmere goods.When no interest was expressed the decision to cease trading with immediate effect was made.

Three staff are being retained in the short term to assist winding down the business.

This is another damaging blow to the Borders textile industry which is being squeezed by competition from cheaper foreign imports.

Blair Nimmo of liquidators KPMG said:

Despite our best efforts to secure the sale of the mill we have been left with no option other than to cease all operations with immediate effect.

“Unfortunately 33 of the company’s 36 employees have been made redundant, with three staff being retained in the short term to assist in winding down the business.

“We would like to thank staff for their co-operation through this difficult process. "We will be working with employees to ensure that support to find alternative employment is available for all those who need it.”

– Blair Nimmo, KPMG

KPMG appointed as Dawson International administrators

Barrie knitwear site in Hawick Credit: ITV Border

KPMG have been appointed as administrators for Dawson International, the parent company of Barrie, the cashmere manufacturers in the Scottish Borders.

200 jobs are at risk at their site in Hawick.

It follows yesterday's announcement that Dawson International was being placed in administration because of a £129m pension deficit.

However, there is some hope that jobs at Barrie can be saved.

Several companies have already expressed an interest in buying the knitwear specialist.

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Pension Protection Fund responds to Dawson International criticism

The pension regulator has defended its decision over Dawson International, which has gone into administration leaving 200 jobs at risk in the Scottish Borders.

Barrie knitwear in Hawick produces cashmere clothing.

Its parent company, Dawson International, strongly criticised the Pension Protection Fund for rejecting proposals to resolve the company's £129m pension deficit.

Chairman David Bolton said there had been "a flawed process, lacking in common sense and transparency".

The Pension Protection Fund said in a statement:

“On rare occasions, we will - alongside the Pensions Regulator - consider transactions which allow a company to continue to operate with the pension scheme being taken on by the PPF.

We do not enter such arrangements lightly and only agree them if a number of stringent tests are met.

Unfortunately, in this case the offers made to take on the pension scheme, given the size of the deficit in the scheme, were inadequate.

We will be working with the administrators to make sure that the interests of the Dawson pension scheme members are best represented.”

– Martin Clarke, PPF Executive Director for Financial Risk

Renewed hope for Hawick textile mill

There is optimism that a textile mill in Hawick can be saved, despite its parent company going into administration.

Barrie knitwear employs around 200 people and makes clothes for high quality designer labels. Yesterday its owner, Dawson International, announced that problems with a huge pension deficit had forced it into administration.

But several companies have already expressed an interest in buying the mill and local people are hopeful that it can be saved.

Reaction from Cllr Stuart Marshall from the Scottish Borders Council, Hawick & Denholm and Cllr Ron Smith, Honorary Provost, Hawick

Dawson International placed in administration

Dawson International, the company that owns Barrie Mill in Hawick, has been placed in administration.

Around 200 people work at the mill in Hawick, which produces high quality cashmere clothing for some of the world's top fashion brands.

It follows rejections by the Pension Protection Fund of offers to resolve the company's large pension deficit. In a statement the Chairman, David Bolton said:

“This is a sad day for Dawson International, and for British manufacturing. To see this 140-year-old company forced into administration due to the PPF’s decision is deplorable, a direct consequence of a flawed process lacking in common sense and transparency."

– David Bolton, Chairman

The company are hopeful a buyer can be found.

MP concerns about continuing jobs uncertainty

A week after Dawson shares were suspended on the stock market, launching 200 employers in the Borders into an uncertain future, local MP Michael Moore has expressed his concern that the problems facing the company are still unresolved.

Dawson International, which has a large pension deficit, run the Barrie Mill, which is one of Hawick's biggest employers.

The mill makes cashmere garments to be sold to some of the world's top fashion brands.

Commenting, Mr Moore said:

“It is now a week since the shares were suspended and I am very concerned about the uncertainty hanging over the people of Hawick.

“The issues have to be resolved quickly so that the business at Barrie can be put on a secure footing.

“I am continuing to keep in close contact with company representatives and I hope we will receive news of a resolution very soon.”

– Michael Moore MP
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