‘SpringBack jobs are safe’ says chairman

'BUSINESS AS USUAL': SpringBacks premises in Markinch where work is continuing normally.
'BUSINESS AS USUAL': SpringBacks premises in Markinch where work is continuing normally.

A SOCIAL enterprise company boss has sought to allay fears over its future, reports MIKE DELANEY.

Patrick Laughlin said it was “business as usual” at SpringBack, despite redundancies in a sister firm.

The ‘Gazette’ was given an anonymous tip-off that the business - which recycles mattresses and employs around 17 people at its factory in John Haig Business Park, off Balgonie Road in the former John Haig whisky bottling plant - had been made insolvent one month ago.

But Patrick Laughlin, who is chairman of the board of trustees at FEAT Enterprises, which oversees the company, said there was no truth in the claim. He explained: “I can give you a clear statement that there is no problem at all there (in Markinch).

“The situation is straightforward - our operation continues to trade and is not insolvent.”

But, he added that a “sister company” in Grangemouth, which came under the same board of trustees, had been forced to close part of its operation because of “difficult trading conditions”.

“As a result of that, there have been four redundancies in Grangemouth,” Mr Laughlin added.

“There are no plans for any in Markinch.”

SpringBack is thought to be the United Kingdom’s only bed recycling facility and was set up around 15 years ago, inspired by a pioneering project in the United States.

It takes apart mattresses and salvages any re-usable parts, avoiding the need for the items to go to landfill, an increasingly costly practice which local authorities like Fife Council - which helps fund the project - are keen to avoid.

FEAT Enterprises grew out of but now has no connection with Fife Employment Access Trust, which is based in Glenrothes.

Mr Laughlin said: “We aim to always have a proportion of the workforce who might have had difficulties in life, or something that has not allowed them to have a job in the past and try to help them get a permanent job, although a lot of people stay with us.”