An initial £6 million of financial support has been confirmed today by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, following yesterday’s announcement that Tullis Russell, the Markinch-based paper mill, had gone into administration with the immediate loss of 325 jobs.
Mr Swinney made the pledge ahead of a visit to the plant this afternoon during which he will meet staff and management.
He added that the cash will go to support the work of the Fife taskforce in supporting economic recovery and growth locally.
Mr Swinney also announced that the first meeting of the taskforce will take place this Thursday.
“This is a very anxious time for the workers at Tullis Russell, their families and indeed the wider community across Fife,” he said.
He added: “Particularly in a small town the size of Markinch, the potential impact of these job losses cannot be underestimated.
This money will provide additional support for skills development, training and support for local businessesJohn Swinney
“We are therefore making an immediate and initial financial investment of £6 million to support the work of the Fife Taskforce.
“This money will provide additional support for skills development, training and support for local businesses.
“We will work with Fife Council to ensure these additional resources complement existing activity and support economic growth in this part of Fife.
“The taskforce will determine the focus and priority of the £6 million spend as part of the wider economic support for this community and the Fife economy.
“It is important that this investment is focussed on supporting the immediate workers but also fits within the wider economic plans for this area and the wider economy.”
The funds are expected to be used for the creation of new jobs and to help with skills retraining.
Mr Swinney added that he was already working closely with a number of organisations in a bid to reduce the impact of the Monday’s announcement.
“Already, Scottish Enterprise officials are working with the company and administrators to explore all possible avenues of support,” he added.
“The Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) teams, the Scottish Government’s initiative for responding to redundancy situations, are working with the administrators to provide support to affected employees.”
Mr Swinney said the investment demonstrated the Scottish Government’s commitment to do everything it could to support economic recovery and growth in the local community in the Markinch and Glenrothes.
“When I meet Tullis Russell staff later today I will be giving them my personal commitment that we will leave no stone unturned,” he added.