A fortnight to find out the future for Barrie

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THE future of knitwear firm Barrie could be clear within a fortnight after the administrators of parent company Dawson International revealed they are in “advanced discussions” with a preferred bidder.

The future of the 180 workers at Barrie’s Burnfoot factory has been left in limbo since Dawson entered administration on August 15, and administrators KPMG admitted to the Hawick News that the preferred bidder for the business had withdrawn from negotiations.

Discussions with a separate party are now at an advanced stage, and KPMG hopes to conclude the sale of Dawson within two weeks.

Blair Nimmo of KPMG said: “The sales process has taken a little longer than originally expected which is due to the late withdrawal of the initial preferred bidder. There were a large number of parties interested in the business and we are pleased to report that we are now in advanced discussions with a new preferred bidder and hope to conclude the sale of Dawson International in the next two weeks.

“The reputation of the business means we have always been confident of achieving a successful sale and we greatly appreciate the continued support of employees, customers and suppliers of Dawson International during this important period.”

Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall welcomed the news but hopes a decision on the company’s future will be made imminently.

“I’m sure the workforce will want all this uncertainty out of the way, as it must be a very worrying time for them all,” he said. “It seems to have dragged on for ages and ages.”

Local MSP John Lamont has called the continuing uncertainty surrounding the Barrie knitwear factory in Burnfoot “hugely destabilising” for the 180 employees and their families.

“When Dawson International announced that they were to enter into administration, it immediately put the near 200 jobs at Barrie under threat,” said Mr Lamont. “Although I am hopeful that the business can be saved, the employees in Burnfoot and their families are facing uncertainty about their future that will be hugely destabilising.”