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Scotland's Business Minister visits Hawick

Hawick Knitwear went into administration last month. Credit: ITV Border

Scotland's Business Minister Fergus Ewing is in Hawick this morning for a meeting with businesses to discuss local economic issues, including the closure of a local factory.

The meeting was called after textile manufacturer Hawick Knitwear went into administration last month.

123
jobs were lost when Hawick Knitwear went into administration.
123 jobs were lost when Hawick Knitwear closed it's gates for the final time in December 2015. Credit: ITV Border

Latest Scottish Borders road closures

Mansfield Road, Hawick. Credit: Scottish Borders Council

As heavy rain sweeps through the Scottish Borders, the following roads remain closed:

  • B712 at Dawyck. Diversion: A701 - Dreva Junction
  • D66/1 Kirkton Manor, Cademuir to Peebles
  • B709 Thirlestane / Ramseycleuch
  • C77 Gala to Lauder
  • B6359 - at Bowden Toll
  • A699 - Selkirk to St Boswells
  • D106/4 - Makerston village
  • D25/3 Haysike Bridge – closed due to structural damage
  • Lower Mansfield Road, Hawick
  • Overhall Road/Martin's Bridge, Hawick
  • B709 between Ramseycleuch Bridge and Angecroft Caravan Park in the Ettrick Valley
  • A698 between Denholm and Hawick
  • A7 south of Hawick - landslip at Teviothead
  • Commercial Road, Hawick
  • Laidlaw Terrace, Hawick
  • Dovemount Mews, Hawick
  • Common Haugh Car Park, Hawick
  • Victoria Road, Hawick
  • A6088 Bonchester Bridge closed
  • A68 south of Bonjedward bridge
  • A68 south of Bonjedward
  • A68 north of Jedburgh at Riverside
  • B6401 between Yetholm and Morebattle
  • C40 near Jedburgh - Crailinghall Bridge closed
  • B6438 at the 30mph zone into St Abbs

Winners of £33m Lotto Jackpot still being sought

Carol and David Martin. Credit: ITV News

National Lottery bosses are still searching for the second winner of a £33 million jackpot.

Their senior winners' adviser, Andy Carter, is visiting Worcester after the lottery operator confirmed that a ticket bought in the area matched all six balls in its record £66 million jackpot draw on January 9.

Under the terms of its licence, Camelot has discretion to pay prizes in respect of stolen, lost or destroyed tickets if a player has submitted a claim in writing within 30 days of the relevant draw.

David and Carol Martin, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, celebrated winning the other half of the jackpot amid a flurry of media attention last week.

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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

WATCH: snow causes traffic chaos in Hawick

Heavy snow has led to traffic disruption in the south of Scotland.

One of the worst affected towns has been Hawick, with major delays on all of the routes into and out of the town.

Police were called to many roads to help vehicles that had become stuck, and as you can see from this footage, filmed in Hawick, driving conditions are very difficult:

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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