A Scottish Government minister was due to visit a closure-threatened Aberdeen paper mill today.
A buyer is being sought for Arjowiggins Fine Papers Limited, based at Stoneywood Mill, which went into administration last week.
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn was set to meet bosses, workers and union reps at the business, which employs 489 people.
The politician previously pledged the support of the Scottish Government and said it was committed to safeguarding as many jobs as possible.
Administrators Iain Fraser, Tom MacLennan and Geoff Rowley, partners at specialist firm FRP Advisory LLP, were appointed by Arjowiggins’ French parent company Sequana.
Last Monday, employees and Unite members were told the mill was not in administration – before Sequana officially announced the news only hours later.
Mr Hepburn said: “I am concerned at the situation with Arjowiggins, and have spoken directly with the company’s managing director and the general manager of Stoneywood Mill.
“Our focus is on supporting the business and doing all we can to try to safeguard jobs.
“Scottish Enterprise will continue to work closely with all partners to explore and exhaust all possible options to try to find the best possible outcome.”
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He said the purpose of his visit was to “engage with the management, administrator and union, as well as local stakeholders, to secure a sustainable future for the mill and its workforce”.
Last year, a deal was struck with Dutch company Fineska VB to sell off Sequana’s paper and packaging distribution business, but the sale fell through just before Christmas.
Sequana announced it would be starting administration proceedings for a number of its subsidiaries, including Arjowiggins Fine Papers Ltd.
Tommy Campbell, regional industrial officer for Unite, said: “Unite welcomes the minister’s visit to the mill and we look forward to continuing the positive dialogue with everyone concerned.
“We all hope this will result in the future of the mill being secured for many years to come.”
The firm is the only remaining business of its kind in the region.
Previous sites at Mugiemoss and Donside shut in 2005 and 2001, while Inverurie Paper Mill shut in 2009 with the loss of 371 jobs.
Donside MSP Mark McDonald said: “Following my discussions with management, unions and the minister himself, I am confident that everyone is pointing in the same direction in terms of wanting to secure the future of the business.
“I hope that, following the discussions with management and others, the minister will reflect on what can be done by the Scottish Government to help secure the future of this vital employer in our city.”