The Scottish Government has pledged to match any financial aid package for Young’s Seafood Limited that the UK Government can offer.
This is following last month’s news that an English Council, backed by the UK Government, had made a fund of £1.34 million available to Young’s to keep open their plant in Grimsby.
Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Business Minister, said: “The Scottish Government has written to the UK Government seeking urgent clarification on the nature of its proposed support for Young’s Grimsby plant.
“We have also written to Young’s to confirm that we are prepared to match any package of aid that may have been offered, provided it is legal and complies with State Aid rules.”
The Business Minister also reiterated the Scottish Government’s desire to see jobs remain at the Fraserburgh plant.
Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government is making every effort to safeguard jobs at Young’s two sites in Fraserburgh and Grantown on Spey, setting up a Joint Stakeholder Group to bring the company, Scottish Enterprise, local councils and other groups together to identify the best way of protecting at-risk jobs in both Fraserburgh and Spey Valley.”
The Minister added: ““We are confident that this will allow the Fraserburgh factory to remain open with a significant workforce and continued activity at the same level at the Grantown on Spey facility.”
This announcement follows Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions when MP for Banff and Buchan Eilidh Whiteford challenged David Cameron on aid for Fraserburgh.
Dr Whiteford asked Mr Cameron: “There is a perception across the industry that the UK Government have been encouraging and supporting the company to relocate many of those jobs to Grimsby.
“What is the Prime Minister going to do to support the workers in Fraserburgh?”
Mr Cameron said avoided the question in reply, stating: “I am aware of this issue, not least because the local Members of Parliament in the Grimsby area have come to see me to talk about this industry.
“What matters is that we go on being an economy that wants to attract businesses, growth and jobs.”
Mr Cameron summed up his response by promoting the union.
He said: “That means keeping our inflation down, keeping our taxes down, keeping our corporate taxes down and, I would also argue, keeping our country together.”
The Prime Minister’s response did little to satisfy Dr Whiteford who later said: ““Today I gave David Cameron, who is, after all, Prime Minister of the whole UK, the opportunity to indicate his support for the people of Fraserburgh. It’s deeply disappointing that he didn’t take that opportunity.”
Mr Cameron’s office was contacted but has not responded in reply.