Hawick’s Slumberdown factory closes with loss of 60 jobs

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By Martin Graham

A BEDDING firm in new Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore’s constituency is facing closure with the loss of around 60 jobs.

Management at Slumberdown Enterprises, based in Hawick, has called in administrators Ernst and Young to take over the reins.

Another 50 jobs will go at the company’s facility at Blyth in Northumberland, and two plants in Ireland also face closure.

Workers went sent home and told to return at 3pm on Tuesday for a full briefing.

The company had been facing difficulties for a number of months, after 16 jobs were axed in January.

Managing director Alastair Coulter blamed the cuts on the recession.

Unite Union representative Tony Trench criticised the Slumberdown management last night.

He said: “This is a disgrace.

“Our members are furious.

“There were no members of management on the site today and will be interesting to see if they have the guts to come along to tomorrow’s meeting.”

Local Conservative MSP John Lamont said: “This is desperate news for Hawick.

“My first thoughts are with the staff who will be facing huge uncertainty over their future.

“It is important that the administrator works hard to secure jobs at the firm.

“Although there has been speculation for some time that Slumberdown was facing difficulties, it is still extremely disappointing news for the town.”

The news comes after it was revealed that duffle coat makers Gloverall had stepped in to save local knitwear manufacturer Peter Scott.

The firm went into administration in May with the loss of 140 jobs.

Slumberdown manufactured quilts, pillows and sleeping bags at the Hawick plant.

Speaking about the Peter Scott takeover, John Lamont said: “Whilst the announcement that Peter Scott had found a buyer was a welcome piece of good news, this has come as a real hammer blow.

“It is a case of one step forward and two steps back.”

Michael Moore MP said: “This is a devastating blow to the people who work there and the town more generally.

“It appears the group as a whole is in trouble.

“Ernst and Young are set to speak to the workforce tomorrow (TUE) and we will know more then.

“Local agencies and others will be on standby to assist.”

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