A bid is expected to be lodged in the coming days that aims to revive the historic Stoneywood paper mill in Aberdeen.
Local MSP Jackie Dunbar has revealed she understands at least one “credible” offer will be made that would breathe new life into the mill before a deadline next week.
She has warned that the bid must be taken seriously if the community is to have a “fighting chance” of creating jobs at the site once again.
The SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside has written to Business Minister Ivan McKee and tabled parliamentary questions to the Holyrood government about the future of the mill.
It is understood that the closing date for the future of the site is February 21.
More than 300 workers lost their jobs after the mill, which dates back to 1770, was put into administration in September last year.
The administrators, Interpath Advisory, said “severe challenges posed by the pandemic”, along with “skyrocketing energy costs”, had been overwhelming for mill owners, Arjowiggins.
We revealed in November that an offer to take over the mill had been made by Glasgow-based Bell & Bain, one of the UK’s largest and oldest independent book printers and binders.
However, it was rejected, with one insider insisting at the time that no “credible” offers had been made.
Now, Ms Dunbar has suggested a deal with an unnamed bidder could be struck.
The MSP said: “I understand there will be at least one credible bidder that aims to retain the site as a functioning paper mill.
“This bid must be taken seriously and give the community a fighting chance to grow the jobs on the site once again.”
The Aberdeen Donside MSP added: “I have raised the matter with the Scottish Government, and raised a written question in the Scottish Parliament, as we must ensure no stone is left unturned to keep the site economically active.
“Every effort must be made to ensure the site remains industry – ideally with the site being taken over and continuing as a paper mill – and I am sure the local community would welcome new jobs being created in the area.”
It was previously understood that the administrators were open to discussions with any interested party who was in a position to put forward a credible offer.
Before its closure, government business support agency Scottish Enterprise had been working with the mill owners Arjowiggins since 2019, when it came close to administration, to try to find a buyer for the company.
The Scottish Government provided more than £12 million to the business in an attempt to turn its fortunes around.
Scottish Enterprise and government officials are believed to have been involved in finding a future industrial use for the site, by the River Don.
Ms Dunbar has asked ministers to provide an update on the next steps, as well as details of support offered to remaining employees.