Following a merger deal with a rival food company, Campbell Brothers, in January, it was predicted 35 would go after Buccleuch Foods planned to move its meat packing operations in Castle Douglas to Midlothian.
A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown, who spoke out against the move, told Food Manufacture: “Russell did speak to [Buccleuch Group chairman] John Glen and the indications on the ground seem to be that several parties are potentially interested in acquiring the site.”
Of the prospective new owners, the spokesperson added that at least one party was rumoured to be interested in restarting production at Castle Douglas and potentially re-employing staff, although this depended on how much plant Buccleuch transferred to Campbell Brothers’ Midlothian site.
A Buccleuch spokesman told Food Manufacture: “We deeply regret the closure of Castle Douglas, but it was the only option. However, the suggestion that this was decided ages ago, with people employed under false pretexts, is unfounded; there was no agreement with Campbell Brothers until around Christmas time.”
“Obviously people are upset, and the closure is regrettable. But Buccleuch strived for several years to make Castle Douglas pay, but with no success. The firm didn’t ‘walk away’ from the town; it needed to relocate to a site with better distribution links and logistical capacity.”