Penman Engineering Saved-Creating 50 Jobs

Troubled Dumfries company ‘Penman Engineering’ has been saved after a takeover by one of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle firms Martin Williams Ltd from Hull, who are aiming to create 50 jobs at the plant by Christmas.

Council leader, Ronnie Nicholson, has welcomed the news that Penman Engineering has a new future.

Ahead of the signing of the buyout, the Council Leader and Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council’s Economy Committee met with the new owners and the Scottish Government to discuss the plans for the future and the support being provided to the company by the Council and Scottish Enterprise. They spoke to the new company owners who spoke of their plans for the immediate future, their longer term vision and their commitment to not only sustain but grow the business in Dumfries. The Council Leader emphasised what the Council is doing to support local businesses to grow and the work being done to overcome some of the barriers so that businesses can unlock their potential, locally and nationally.

Ronnie Nicholson said, “The news that Penman Engineering, one of the most significant employers in Dumfries, has new owners is a huge boost for the region. Building the local economy is this Council’s number one priority and I stressed this to Nick and Garry Williams, the Directors of Martin Williams Ltd when I met with them last week to discuss how we can support the company going forward. A successful Penman is exactly the type of business which the region needs to help address the inherent economic weaknesses of lower than average wages and productivity. It would also be tremendous signal to national and international private sector investors that Dumfries and Galloway is a location in which new business can flourish.

On the back of the discussions with the company, I have written to David Mundell MP ,the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy to seek assurances that both the Scottish and UK Government’s will do all to help with a number of short term challenges facing Penman. I was impressed by the new owners ambitions for the company and their desire to see the business grow within Dumfries and Galloway. They recognised that Penman had a committed, very experienced and skilful workforce and that would be key to future success”.

Councillor Colin Smyth said, “This is fantastic early Christmas present for Dumfries and Galloway and I am delighted that the new owners are moving quickly to re-employ some of the workers who recently lost their jobs. Our hope is that this re-employment will continue until we are back at the level of employment we had before Penman went into administration and hopefully even higher in the long run . Not only will this be a return to highly skilled jobs at Penman but a boost for those local businesses who have supplied Penman in the past. Penman have a proud history in Dumfries but this is a fresh start for the company under Martin Williams Ltd who are a successful, growing business and I am hope they can bring that success to the area. This has been a horrendous time for those who lost their jobs and their families but for many of them they will be able to get back into work soon and that is great news. However, we can’t underestimate the challenges the company faces. You don’t go from being in administration one day to being successful overnight but this buyout gives the company and the workforce real hope for the future”

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