Wheelhouse has met with members of Young’s management and Dumfries & Galloway council, with plans to hold a meeting with the two to discuss the next steps for the plant.
In a series of tweets, Wheelhouse said he was working with the Scottish government, its enterprise and skills agencies and local partners, looking at all possible options to retain production at the site.
‘No stone unturned’
“I am determined that we leave no stone unturned in our efforts to retain employment, given the importance of the plant and these jobs and the livelihoods and businesses they support in the wider local community,” he said.
“We will explore every possibility for support to try to make a compelling case for retaining as many jobs as possible.”
Wheelhouse said Young’s provided a detailed insight into the factors underlying the proposal to potentially close the site, and signalled their agreement to work with the government throughout and beyond the forthcoming consultation period with its staff.
“While this will clearly be a very worrying time for Young’s employees, their families and the wider community, I want to assure all those who are affected by this that we are committed to doing everything we can to find a viable solution,” he added.
‘No longer financially sustainable’
Last week, Young’s Seafood announced it was to exit deli and meals production from its Pinneys site, claiming it was no longer financially sustainable. The remaining natural salmon production at the site will be moved to Young’s Humberstone Road, Grimsby site.
The move would put up to 450 jobs at risk of redundancy at the Scottish site. However, the move to Grimsby would create more than 200 new roles, the company said.
Meanwhile, up to 400 jobs are at risk at Grimsby-based fish processor Five Star Fish, after owner 2 Sisters Food Group revealed plans to enter into consultation with colleagues and customers at the “loss-making site”.