A LAUNDRY firm, founded in Dumfries in 1845, has been praised for their ‘vital’ role in helping the region respond to the Covid-19 emergency.
Shortridge Ltd. operates from a large building on Lochside industrial estate with a skilled workforce and state-of-the-art equipment.
They were visited by Scottish Secretary and local MP Alister Jack together with constituency MSP Finlay Carson who met with managing director Peter Semple and general manager Susan Peat.
Both politicians acknowledged the company’s contribution including providing additional support to NHS hospitals during periods of high demand and providing laundry services to public and private sector organisations.
Shortridge, which also has a base in West Cumbria, assisted many in the hospitality industry to get going again after lockdown through their laundering and linen hire service to hotels, B and Bs and self-catering properties.
Around 80 people are normally employed at the Dumfries laundry although that has risen up to 120 during busy periods.
Last year the number of items delivered from the site reached 280,000 per week during the peak hospitality season but because of this year’s global health crisis figures have been significantly lower.
After touring the site, Mr Jack said: “The company has come a long way since its early days in Dumfries and they operate over a large part of Scotland and the north of England.
“They are an important local employer and carry out a vital task which I’m sure many take for granted.
“There has been substantial investment in technology and, importantly with the wide range of work they do, systems are in place to ensure laundering is carried out to the highest standards.”
Mr Carson said: “As local MSP, I recognise that tourism is an important and expanding industry across the constituency and professional laundry services play a key support role in the sector.
“Small and medium sized businesses have faced unknown challenges as a consequence of COVID-19; through the intervention of my office, I was able to assist Shortridge in receiving a vital grant from South of Scotland Enterprise as well as contracts from NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
“In a rural economic context, the importance of retaining a skilled workforce is vital to support communities – so I am only too glad that an outcome has been reached which works for all.”