Still hope for Border Precision jobs, say MP and MSP

Border Precision in Kelso has gone into liquidation.
Border Precision in Kelso has gone into liquidation.

Two Borders politicians say that they are “heartened” after holding talks over the future of the Kelso engineering business which went into liquidation last week with the loss of 80 jobs.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Calum Kerr and South of Scotland MSP Paul Wheelhouse met representatives of the provisional liquidators in Edinburgh earlier today to discuss the future of Border Precision Engineering and its workforce.

Calum Kerr MP

Calum Kerr MP

They were told that there has been some interest in the Kelso operation and there is still a possibility production at the site can be rescued.

The MP and MSP were also given the good news that a number of the employees have been asked back to help fulfil contracts with important customers while attempts to find a buyer take place.

Border Precision, which specialises in the production of high quality components for industries such as the aerospace and military sectors, suddenly collapsed last Tuesday.

Both Mr Kerr and Mr Wheelhouse have been working since to provide support to the business and the workforce. They are also seeking a meeting with the Scottish Government to see what help may be available.

There does seem to be a possibility that something could be rescued

Calum Kerr MP

After today’s meeting, Mr Kerr said: “What we heard today from the provisional liquidators at Alix Partners is heartening.

“I wouldn’t want to raise false hopes, but there does seem to be a possibility that something could be rescued and Paul and I now plan to pursue that as hard as we can.

“We’re grateful to Alix Partners, who are clearly doing everything they can to resurrect the plant and operations as a going concern. However, they have to act in the best interests of the creditors and can’t keep the offer of a sale on the table forever.

“I’d urge anyone who thinks they may be interested in taking over the business to get in touch without delay. There’s clearly a limited window in which investment can be achieved, but this is a great opportunity for someone out there.”

And Paul Wheelhouse commented: “This clearly is a hugely worrying time for the workforce and their families, a number of whom have been in contact, and Calum and I are keen to do everything we can to help.

“While we have to be cautious, the provisional liquidator gave us some positive messages today and are taking a very constructive approach and we’re greatly encouraged by that.

“Border Precision has been a business with a great reputation, an excellent workforce and engineering skills that are second to none.

“The fact that some of the employees have been taken back to fulfil existing contracts can only be a good sign. Let’s hope it signals that the excellent workforce at Border Precision may yet have a future.”