Scottish ministers have faced calls to “redouble” their efforts to save an historic Aberdeen paper mill.
Almost 500 jobs have been hanging in the balance at the Arjowiggins’ Stoneywood mill after its parent company Sequina was plunged into administration at the start of the year.
Efforts to find a new buyer for the site have so far failed, with two potential sales falling apart since January.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney previously said the government would do all it could to ensure the mill was saved, however a north-east MP last night claimed ministers have not taken as a central role as they could have.
Business Minister Jamie Hepburn previously met with management at the mill but Gordon MP Colin Clark has claimed he has since been “lukewarm” to his efforts to help find a way forward.
Mr Clark has made repeated offers to bring in a team of experienced former mill operators and executives to advise on the way forward for the site, but has been turned down.
He said: “I am concerned that the working group that was set up by the Scottish Government was lacking commercial clout. A management buy out should have been running along side any preferred bidder process.
“My offer to bring in a team of former mill operators and executives who have bought and sold similar companies was in good faith.
“Without the buy-in of the Scottish Government, my proposal just would not work.
“Every agency and politician involved should be open to using any tools at our disposal. There is no substitute for hands-on experience in these situations.
“Scottish ministers must redouble efforts to secure a good deal that protects the hundreds of jobs in Stoneywood. This is an excellent site making an excellent product.”
Administrators FRP Advisory has said there has been no update with a potential buy-out or purchase.
Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said:“I met with stakeholders at Stoneywood today and remain in regular contact with the administrator, Unite the union, local management and key local stakeholders to offer the full support of the Scottish Government and our agencies.
“The Scottish Government, alongside Scottish Enterprise, continues to work intensively with the management team, administrator and other partners to explore all options to secure the best possible outcome for Stoneywood Mill and its employees.
“We’ve approved draft heads of terms outlining potential financial support and we’re supportive of a deal with the management buyout team (MBO), once the commercial agreement is reached between the administrator, MBO team and lenders.”