‘Determined’ Kerr in Hawick Knitwear talks

Hawick MP Calum Kerr.
Hawick MP Calum Kerr.

Hawick Knitwear offers a fantastic opportunity for an investor prepared to turn it into a world class company, says local MP Calum Kerr.

Yesteray (Friday), he held urgent talks over the future of the firm – which went into administration on Thursday – with administrators KPMG as well as Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council.

All these organisers are working to fnd a buyer for the business, which has just been forced to make 123 people redundant.

After a day of discussions, Mr Kerr told the Hawick News: “I’m determined to do everything I can to try and save this business, as is my MSP colleague Paul Wheelhouse.

“There is a real opportunity here for a buyer to take ownership of a fantastic company, workforce and brand, but the next couple of weeks are going to be critical.”

The SNP parliamentarian continued: “There is a strong demand worldwide for premium knitwear products and this business is more than capable of servicing that market.

“We do have to recognise, though, that we need to create a profitable and sustainable business. That may involve the firm moving to smaller and more suitable premises in Hawick, and it’s highly improbable we’ll be able to sustain a future workforce at current levels.”

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP also revealed that Scottish Business Minister Fergus Ewing is to visit the town on Wednesday to discuss the company’s outlook.

Me Kerr continued: “As well as looking towards a future for the business, we now have to also focus on giving every possible support to those who have been made redundant.

“It is hugely worrying for them and their families and the worst time of the year for this to happen. However, the Scottish Government and other agencies will do everything they can to help.

“A PACE team will now move in and work to match up those who have lost their jobs with employers locally who are looking to take on new staff and also to offer training opportunities.

“This has been a bleak start to the New Year for Hawick, but everyone should be confident that huge amounts of effort are being put into ensuring that this historic and much respected local company survives and prospers.”