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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD & SALMOND VISIT FACTORY LOCAL MP HELPED TO SAVE

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and local MP Alex Salmond paid a visit to a local bakery yesterday to catch up with management and staff some eight years after Mr Salmond played a key role in saving it from closure.

United Biscuits announced plans to close their factory in Hatton in September 2001. Following a campaign led by Alex Salmond, the factory was saved from closure and taken over by Buchan firm Murdoch Allan & Sons, safeguarding over 100 years of bakery tradition and jobs in the village.

The factory is just one of a number in Banff & Buchan which faced closure in the 1990s and early 2000s which were saved from closure thanks to the efforts of Alex Salmond MP, other notable examples being Buchan Meat Producers in Turriff (now Woodhead Brothers), and a fish factory employing over 600 people in Fraserburgh.

Speaking after the visit, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"Murdoch Allan's now employs more people than were employed at the Hatton site before they took it over from United Biscuits. This goes to show that there is a growing market for quality Scottish produce, and is testament to the hard work of Paul Allan and his staff.

“Small and medium sized firms involved in food production are the backbone of many North-east towns and villages, and it's been a priority for the SNP Government to create the conditions where they can thrive, through the Business Bonus Scheme, and support to develop new markets and improve facilities.

“I wish Murdoch Allan's every success in the future."

Banff & Buchan MP Alex Salmond added:

“It’s good to see after all these years the factory is still going strong.

“There’s more jobs and bigger contracts so this is definitely good news for Hatton and the North-east.

“There’s no doubt that turning around the fortunes of the factory from being threatened with closure under United Biscuits to being taken over by an ambitious locally-owned company was a tremendous result for the Buchan area. Now, eight years on from when the factory was supposed to be closed we have a vibrant local employer in its place.

“I’m proud to have played my part in defending the jobs of Hatton workers and I know that in Eilidh Whiteford, the people of Banff & Buchan will have an equally strong MP protecting their interests.”

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