The Western Isles were dealt a serious jobs blow yesterday when Talktalk announced it is to close its site in Stornoway.
All 59 staff will be made redundant as of July, the telecoms company said.
Talktalk is one of the largest private sector employers on Lewis and has had a presence in Stornoway since the site at Gleann Seileach Business Park was acquired from OneTel in 2005.
Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan and Angus MacNeil MP have expressed their dismay at the news.
Mr Allan said last night: “Today’s news is deeply troubling, and my thoughts are with the staff and their families at what will be a very difficult period for them.
“For an economy the size of the Isle of Lewis, the impact of the loss of 59 jobs cannot be overstated. It is proportionate to job losses in the thousands for a city the size of Glasgow. This is a real body blow to the Isle of Lewis.
“Since being informed of the company’s intentions earlier this afternoon, I have spoken to HIE and have asked the Scottish Government’s Business Minister, Jamie Hepburn MSP, what the Government can do to help in this situation.
“This is a site that has operated in one form or another for more than a decade and it is important that all options are now explored to try and ensure its future.”
Mr MacNeil MP added: “Having spoken with TalkTalk, it is obviously disappointing to hear that they have taken this step. TalkTalk acknowledge that they have highly skilled staff in Stornoway, dealing with complex customer complaints.
“This will be affecting 59 people in total and will be devastating for them. However, I would also like to take the opportunity to flag up to other companies that there is the potential to employ 59 highly capable, highly trained conscientious staff and who have been one of the best operators in TalkTalk.”
A TalkTalk spokesman said: “Last year we announced plans to relocate our headquarters from London and make Salford the single main campus for TalkTalk. After careful consideration, we have decided to relocate 59 roles from Stornoway as part of that move. This was not an easy decision and we will be doing everything we can to support our colleagues and minimise the impact on the local community.”