Business Minister to ‘explore’ Hawick Knitwear support

Business Minister Fergus Ewing has scheduled a round table for businesses in Hawick to “explore potential opportunities” following the collapse of Hawick Knitwear Ltd.

Mr Ewing met with appointed administrators to Hawick Knitwear Ltd, its management and staff on Wednesday, along with representatives from the Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Enterprise to “assess implications for Hawick and the textiles industry”.

He said the Scottish Government and agencies will focus on working with the appointed administrators “to find new owners” for Hawick Knitwear and Scottish Enterprise “will explore all available options for supporting the business and retaining as many staff as possible”.

Mr Ewing said: “Given the scale of the situation facing Hawick Knitwear Ltd I will convene a round table for businesses in Hawick.

“This will be an chance for me to listen to local businesses and understand the challenges they currently face and to explore potential opportunities and what support might be needed to help businesses bring those to fruition.”

The round table is scheduled for Thursday, February 2.

Hawick Knitwear Ltd, which has been manufacturing in the Scottish Borders since 1874, called in administrators on January 7 after failing to secure new investment.

At the time of the Joint Administrators’ appointment, at the request of the company's directors, Hawick Knitwear employed 179 staff, all but two of whom are based in Hawick.

The administrators said the company had experienced difficult trading conditions in recent years as a result of increasing production costs and reducing margins.

Recent mild winters were also blamed for a reduction in demand for heavier winter garments.

The Joint administrators noted, recent attempts to secure new investment, "to support further development of the brand and provide much needed working capital ultimately proved unsuccessful, leaving the director with no option but to place the company into Administration”.

Appointed administrators, Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar from KPMG, noted they had “no option” but to “make 123 employees redundant with immediate effect, with 56 staff retained”.

Mr Ewing said: “This is a hugely difficult time for everyone at Hawick Knitwear Ltd and especially for the 119 employees who have lost their jobs so shortly after Christmas.

“We are supporting staff facing redundancy through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) which provides tailored skills development and employability.

“All affected employees have already received information on PACE and a PACE Redundancy Support Event and Jobs Fair will take place this Friday to highlight job opportunities among local businesses.

“The Scottish textiles industry has a rich heritage and is hugely important to the local economy.

“Scottish Enterprise has helped support and encourage the industry’s growth in recent years and it’s clear to me that while the textiles industry is facing challenges, I am optimistic there is a viable future for this business.

“Our efforts are therefore completely focused on working with the administrators to find new owners and Scottish Enterprise will explore all available options for supporting the business and retaining as many staff as possible.”



Scotlightdaily.com is the online edition of Scotland's favourite newspapers, that brings you your Daily news. Every day we bring you the best in Scottish news, sport, entertainment and opinion, including breaking news, picture galleries, videos and live blogs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *