Glimmer of hope for Ross & Bonnyman

THERE is a glimmer of hope that some good will come out of the closure of Ross & Bonnyman just over a week ago.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), there was a suggestion the provisional administrators were on the threshold of some announcement, although they remained tight-lipped when questioned on Monday.

Some 80 jobs were lost when the doors closed for the final time on Friday, February 3.

However, in a brief statement issued on Monday, a spokesperson for provisional administrators Begbies Traynor said: “There has been significant interest in the business, and we expect this to develop over the coming week.”

Welcoming the news, Angus Councillor Bill Middleton was among the first to express hope that some good will come out of the situation.

He visited the factory on the day the news broke that the business was to close and told the “Dispatch”: “I spoke to the administrators at the time to find out what the situation was and how many jobs would be lost. At that time they did say there had been some interest even then from other firms.

“It would be wonderful if a buyer could be found for the business as it is would give security to the work force. Failing that they will have to try to find alternative employment which isn’t easy as it was a very skilled work force.

“I gathered when I spoke to the administrators at the time that things did sound a bit hopeful, which is confirmed by what they are saying today. Obviously everything is confidential but it would be absolutely brilliant if a buyer came in and the jobs could be protected.

“Ross & Bonnyman was a long established firm with a local workforce. It was a very successful firm which was down to the work force.

“I just hope something comes to fruition. All we can do is hope for the best that something positive comes out of this.”

Ross & Bonnyman has been a major employer in the town since 1976 when it moved from its initial base in Inverurie to set up a new manufacturing site in Forfar.

The firm designed and manufactured a range of yard and mezzanine lifts, dock levellers and lifting decks at the 50,000 sq. ft. production facility in Roberts Street.

Last Thursday Angus North and Mearns SNP MSP Nigel Don asked the First Minister to provide support for the 80 employees who had lost their jobs.

During First Minister’s Question Time Mr Don highlighted the plight of the workers and asked what support the Scottish Government can provide to ensure the highly skilled workforce find new employment as swiftly as possible. In response the First Minster said that he shares the concerns of Mr Don, and assured him that the Scottish Government were taking action to support those who had lost their jobs.

The First Minister went on to state that the local PACE team would be holding an event in the Reid Hall in Forfar shortly to help those made redundant.

Mr Don said: “I welcome the reassurances from the First Minster that the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are taking steps to ensure those who have lost their jobs can find gainful employment as swiftly as possible.

“The workforce employed at the plant are highly skilled and I hope that by working with the local PACE team we can help ensure we keep the skills within the local area.”