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87 jobs lost with closure of Borders textile mill

Robert Noble Mill Credit: ITV Border

A Scottish Borders textile mill is to close with the loss of 87 jobs.

Moorbrook Textiles, the owner of textile brands Replin Fabrics and Robert Noble, has announced that the group’s mill in Peebles is to close.

The company revealed in May that it was seeking a buyer for the mill and had begun a 30-day consultation period with its 87 employees.

Despite some initial interest from potential buyers, no credible offers for the facility have been received and the management team say they have been left with no option but to announce the mill’s closure.

“Over recent weeks we have had discussions with a number of groups interested in purchasing the business but regrettably these have not resulted in any credible offers.

“We are extremely disappointed that, despite significant investment in the mill over the last 10 years, we have been unable to secure a buyer.

“We fully appreciate the impact closure will have on our employees and the local community and our focus in the coming days will be on supporting them at this difficult time.

“In addition, we will continue to work closely with our customers, suppliers and government agencies to do all we can to minimise the impact of closure.

“As part of these discussions we will begin planning for decommissioning of the site itself, as well as consulting with staff on the completion of existing customer orders.”

– Ian Laird, Managing Director of Moorbrook Textiles

A date for final closure of the site is expected to be confirmed shortly.

Kendal factory changes hands

Credit: ITV Border

Today marked a new era for the Heinz factory in Kendal as it become Kendal Nutricare after 25 years.

At its peak this factory employed around 300 people. At the moment it employs around 88 plus contractors. The new company hopes to keep all those jobs and create more.

"There's been a long period of uncertainty here: we've had 12 months of redundancies and a lot of work's gone from the site but I think it's great news for me personally and everyone in Kendal because I've just had a baby and I need the job and it's great for the future."

– Darryl Hall, electrical control software engineer

The pharmaceutical research company makes food such as baby milk and will still produce some Heinz products but it's now run by an Irish entrepreneur rather than a multinational company, and he has big plans.

Credit: ITV Border

"We've a core team now you know not just production, we have research, we have our own laboratories in house and what we want to do is we want to take in apprentices, we want to take people in from the community who want a long-term career here and we intend to develop new products for exports to the Asian markets and across Europe, so we're looking for graduates, we're looking for craft workers and technicians and I want to say to people locally, 'you know, you can come here and have a long-term career'."

– Ross McMahon, managing director, Kendal Nutricare Ltd

Both companies - Kendal Nutricare and Heinz - are hailing the change as a positive move for the site. In a statement, Heinz said:

"The deal includes a two-year co-pack arrangement for Kendal Nutricare to manufacture Heinz infant cereals for the UK as well as Heinz infant formula for the Chinese market.

"The sale offers a positive future for the factory and for the people employed at the site."

Credit: ITV Border


Potential jobs boost for Selkirk

A timber company could take over the former Co-op home furnishing store Credit: PA

A Borders-based timber company's expansion plans could create more than 50 new jobs in Selkirk.

Oregon Timber - who are based at Dunsdale Haugh - want to take over the nearby former Co-op home furnishing store which closed last summer.

Oregon, who supply timber frames for house-builders such as Cala, Miller and Dawn, already have a 100-strong workforce in Selkirk.

The firm has applied to Scottish Borders Council for planning permission to change its use from retail to a timber manufacturing facility.

Documents lodged with the application state the new factory will have a proposed employment of 53 staff.

"The sole aim of making this application is to pursue the company's desire to acquire additional space suitable for the proposed expansion of its current timber frame manufacturing facility in Selkirk."

– Spokesperson, Oregon Timber

Job cuts at University of Cumbria will help investment

The University of Cumbria's vice chancellor says cutting jobs now will help the university to invest more, in the future.

Up to sixty positions will go, as part of a plan to save around £5 million in the next academic year.

Most of the redundancies will be voluntary.

Peter Strike says these savings could lead to new jobs being created, and more investment in facilities.

£5 million deal could create fifty new jobs

The land as it is currently used Credit: ITV Border

Fifty jobs could be created in Carlisle as the city council has agreed to sell five acres of land on the Rosehill Industrial Estate.

The deal is thought to be worth up to £5 million.

There are plans for the land to be used for the development of up to ten commercial and retail units, as well as a 350 space pay-and-display car park.


37 jobs to be lost in Carlisle

John Lewis is set to close a depot in Carlisle Credit: PA

37 jobs are set to be lost in Carlisle as a John Lewis distribution centre closes.

The company has announced plans to close its depot at the Kingmoor Business Park.

A consultation process will now start with all employees, who are to be offered early retirement, voluntary redundancy or relocation to a new distribution centre in Milton Keynes.

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