The news that the Border Fine Arts factory in Langholm is to close with the loss of 43 jobs with a further 9 to go at their factory shop on the High Street has been described as “deeply disappointing” .
South Scotland MSP and Chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, Colin Smyth, said “This is deeply disappointing news and everyone’s thoughts will be with the staff of Border Find Arts. To a community the size of Langholm, this number of job losses is a real blow. It is a business that has been based within the town for many years and a number of the staff will have given a great deal of dedicated service”.


“I know that PACE (Partnership Action for Continuous Employment)  which is made up of various agencies, including the Council, will be working with the company so that plans will be put in place to support any staff facing redundancy. A meeting between the Council and Enesco is also being sought but given the company statement that the decision is based on falling sales, it is unlikely that they will change their position”.


“It is a number of years since a so-called jobs summit was held in the town but there will be a feeling locally that more needs to be done by Government to support peripheral areas in the far South of Scotland to attract jobs to the area and help local businesses to expand and provide alternative employment opportunities”


Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh said, “I met with the Council Head of Economic Development to discuss what support is being provided both in the short term to those facing the prospect of losing their job but also what long term opportunities can be developed.


Simply doing the same and looking to the past is not an option for the local economy in Langholm. We have to be bold and move forward. It is four years since the Deputy First Minister said at a jobs summit in Langholm that the Scottish Government would boost jobs in Eskdale and so far all we have had is one job loss announcement after another.  We need to see some real practical measures that build on the strengths we have. Langholm and Eskdale are an ideal location for adventurous pursuits, building the tourism offer and developing the care industry.  We should also remember that we have a shortage of teaching professionals  in the area and one of the suggestions I have put forward to the council is providing support to help people pursue training in alternative employment where we know there are vacancies”