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£10,000 fine after Borders Fine Arts explosion

A company in Carlisle have been fined more than £10,000 after and explosion in at the Borders Fine Arts factory.

Enesco Limited of Carlisle who own the company pled guilty today at Dumfries Sheriff court to a failure to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to its employees where dangerous substances were present.

The Health and Safety Executive were investigating the explosion at the property in Townfoot, Langholm which happened on 11 July 2012.

No one was injured in the explosion but it caused significant damage to the property, where the company manufactures hand crafted and hand painted ornaments.

“It was simply good fortune that no employees were in the vicinity of the explosion and that no one was injured or killed.

“To become operational again the company has engaged pro-actively with the Health and Safety Executive and a full DSEAR assessment has been undertaken and all necessary manufacturing controls implemented”.

– Gary Aitken, Head of COPFS Health & Safety Division

Three vehicle crash on A7

The A7 is blocked about two miles south of Langholm following a road traffic collision.

Three vehicles were involved in the incident; a silver Vauxhall Astra, a red VW Golf and a white Ford Transit Tipper.

Police say one person is thought to have minor injuries.

The road will be blocked for some time to allow the damaged vehicles to be recovered.

Police Scotland are asking motorists avoid the area or delay their journey if possible.

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Edinburgh Woollen Mill to create 1,145 jobs

The Langholm-based clothing retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill has recorded a bumper sales year and plans to create more than 1000 new jobs.

The latest figures show that turnover grew 130% and profit increased by 184% to £58.5 million.

They have put the results down to the successful turnaround of the Peacocks chain, which went into administration in January 2012.

The business also continued a roll-out programme which saw 56 new stores open and 920 jobs created.

The company, which was founded in 1946, now operates over 1,000 stores and employs 12,000 workers.

There are now plans to open a further 100 stores and create 1,145 jobs over the next 18 months.

“We’ve worked hard to maintain strong cost controls whilst investing in our people, our products and ensuring we have the optimal blend of physical and digital channels to suit our customer demographics.

“UK retail remains a tough environment and we are focused on serving customers who are seeking value at a time of reduced discretionary spend but who will not compromise on quality.

“The group is free of debt so we can leverage a positive balance sheet and focus on a sensible strategy which continues to deliver sustainable growth for the long term.

“The natural next step for us is to take this approach to robust international markets such Germany, the Middle East and Russia.”

– Steve Simpson, Group Commercial Director
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