Remploy results expected in March

Remploy, Leven
Remploy, Leven

The results of an investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) into the failed sale of Fife’s Remploy factories will be made public next month.

Both the Leven and Cowdenbeath factories closed last year with the loss of 65 jobs after no offers were made for the business.

Plans for the investigation were initially announced in October, with results expected in January, however those have now been delayed until next month.

So concerned was Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Lindsay Roy about the way the sell-off was handled, that he wrote to Amyas Morse, the comptroller and auditor general, asking for a “robust investigation”.

Now Mr Morse has confirmed that the NAO plans to publish its report before the end of March.

The factory at Banbeath in Leven closed it doors for good in September, with local job losses of 26.

Mr Roy commented: “I called for a full investigation because I had some serious concerns about the process which was put in place for the sell-off.

“For instance, I understand that Ocean Safety bought lifejackets made by Remploy for around £25 each, but then apparently sold them for up to £130 – if this was the case, the mark-up seems exorbitant.

“But more importantly, I was deeply worried that there seemed to have been a change to the initial agreement between Remploy and Ocean Safety over certain intellectual property rights.”

The elected member added: “I was initially told that the NAO report would be published in January and the delay is disappointing, but I fully appreciate that a rigorous investigation is essential given the issues raised

“Hopefully that investigation will shed some much-needed light on what many consider was a flawed sell-off process from the very start.”