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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Jack Haugh

Cairngorms sawmill loses fight to stay open as owners confirm site's fate

A SCOTTISH sawmill is to close for good despite the efforts of politicians and employees to save it. 

BSW Group has today confirmed Boat of Garten sawmill, in the Cairngorms National Park, will cease operations by the end of the year. 

Officials have blamed the closure of the site, one of the oldest of the group’s seven sawmills in the UK, on a "global downturn across the industry". 

Tony Hackney, CEO at BSW Group, said: “We wish to emphasise to our customers and suppliers that it is business as normal and that together we will prosper and become more resilient.

“To counter the impact of the pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine and increasing energy costs, we had to make the very tough decision to close our sawmill at Boat of Garten.

“Thankfully, the support we had from a combination of Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), our mill manager’s contacts and the local community, the majority of the affected employees have secured alternative employment.”

Although 40 jobs were placed at risk, BSW says it was able to help all the employees who wished to leave ahead of the proposed closure date and honoured all redundancy obligations.

It is anticipated that around 10 per cent of staff will remain in their roles until the end of the year to manage the site.

Campaigners had hoped to save the sawmill Mairi McAllan had been among those who spoke out when the sawmill's impending closure was first announced

Scotland's forestry minister, Mairi McAllan, had been among those to express her disappointment of the impending move when it was announced in August. 

Earlier this year, she said:  “The announcement from the BSW Group is of course a blow to their excellent skilled staff." 

Breaking news. More follows ... 

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