Emergency economic summit to be held

Cabinet secretary for tourism and the rural economy, Fergus Ewing.

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Future employment opportunities are to be discussed at an emergency economic forum in Campbeltown following the news of possible redundancies at two of the area’s biggest employers.

Expected to take place this month, the summit will explore the area’s economic development opportunities following news that Campbeltown Creamery, which has 14 employees, is set to close, and up to 73 of CS Wind UK’s 94 staff could be made redundant.

The forum will provide the opportunity for the Scottish Government to meet with Argyll and Bute Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, trades unions and local employers to pool resources and try to identify any scope to work collaboratively to regenerate the local economy.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP said: ‘It has been a devastating period for workers and their families who have either been made redundant already or have the threat of redundancy hanging over them.

‘Campbeltown Creamery and CS Wind UK provide a substantial portion of the Campbeltown area’s high skilled jobs, and are a vital part of the local economy. In response to the potential job losses and expected impact these will have on the local area, we have called an emergency economic summit to explore the challenges facing the local community and try to identify any potential opportunities.

‘In the meantime the Scottish Government continues to work with CS Wind UK to do all we can to support the company to secure future work for the site.’

Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP, Donald Cameron, said: ‘This summit has got to be more than just a talking shop. The Scottish Government must provide adequate support with a firm commitment to measurable actions, a timescale, and regular reviews of progress.

‘Nicola Sturgeon’s government has constantly prioritised the central belt. They now must urgently focus on our remote communities in Kintyre, and on Campbeltown in particular, so we can set about regenerating the local economy as quickly as possible.

‘It’s just a shame they’ve taken so long to respond to our requests for support.’