News the Arnish yard will remain open is a “great Christmas present” for the island
says Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan.
The facility was on the verge of falling into administration with parent company
BiFab suffering financial troubles amounting to millions of pounds.
The Scottish Government led talks during an impasse and brokered a deal - in time
to avoid Monday’s expected collapse into administration.
Alasdair Allan said the announcement will be a “relief for many families” in the
Direct intervention of First Minister and attitude of the unions companies and the
government were “all crucial” to the outcome, he added
The MSP commented: “In recent days, many families in Lewis have had real cause to
worry about their jobs and livelihoods.
“So today’s announcement that a deal has been reached represents the best possible
news. BiFab is not going into administration, and the current contracts at Arnish
will be completed.
“I want to pay tribute to the commitment of the highly skilled workforce at Arnish,
and the constructive attitude they have taken throughout this difficult time. Reaching
a deal between the various commercial interests involved has required days of negotiation.
“The intervention of the First Minister, who came back early from engagements in
Germany to take part in the talks herself, was I believe a decisive factor, but I
would also like to thank my ministerial colleagues Keith Brown and Paul Wheelhouse
for the many hours they have devoted to this issue.
“I also want to recognise the contribution made by the unions, some of whom I had
a chance to meet with outside Holyrood this week, and by the different companies
involved in the initial dispute, who have moved a long way to reach this agreement.
“The emphasis now will be on ensuring that Arnish receives new orders in the future,
something which I believe it is well placed to do, given the growing market in the
renewables sector for the work that it does.”