Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will work with local agencies in Moray to minimise the economic damage caused by the closure of the Buckie Shipyard, which went into administration last week.
That was the message which emerged from Moray’s MP Angus Robertson, who along with Stewart Stevenson MSP, whose constituency at the Scottish Parliament includes Buckie, met today with senior HIE staff for a briefing on the closure. Local SNP councillor Gordon McDonald also attended the meeting.
The shipyard owners cited cashflow problems prompted by the loss of RNLI work as the cause of the business going into voluntary administration, with all 68 staff being told that their jobs were lost.
However, HIE has said there is interest with Mr Robertson adding that the site has ‘tremendous’ potential.
Following the meeting the MP said: “HIE and other public agencies are clearly focussed on dealing with the Buckie Shipyard Administration including job losses and efforts to minimise the economic damage of the challenging circumstances.
“Interest in the facilities is already being shown by a number of enterprises which is extremely heartening.
“Buckie Harbour and the town has tremendous economic potential and both HIE and The Moray Council have a public interest in ensuring the widest economic interest with the harbour.”
Stewart Stevenson added: “The Administration announcement for the Buckie Shipyard was a real shock to its staff and the town but HIE and other agencies are already working to deal with the situation.
“There are grounds for optimism given early signs of commercial interest in the facility that a new future is possible.
“I would call on HIE and The Moray Council to ensure that the future of the harbour is considered in the widest strategic sense.”
Gordon McDonald admitted that many people in Buckie were “very worried” about the future of the shipyard, adding that it was good to know that people were working hard to secure a new future for the facility.
He added: “While it is at a very early stage in the administration process it is good to know that there have been expressions of interest in the yard.
“Everyone should be focussed on ensuring that the best possible outcome for Buckie is at the top of the agenda.”
A support event for those made redundant as a result of the Buckie Shipyard closure is to be held at the Marine Hotel in the town on September 4 – those interested in attending are being asked to call 01343 548884.