Town facing 'devastating' jobs blow as yoghurt factory faces closure

Dozens of staff at Dale Farm in Palnure, Galloway, could lose their jobs due to 'excess capacity and declining demand'.

Galloway facing ‘devastating’ jobs blow as Rowan Glen yoghurt factory faces closure © Google Maps 2023

Galloway is facing a “devastating” jobs blow after it was announced that a yoghurt factory faces closure.

Dozens of workers are facing losing their jobs at the Rowan Glen site at Palnure, after Dale Farm Ltd revealed it is considering closing due to “excess capacity and declining demand”.

The proposed closure of the site, which is near Newton Stewart, was discussed at the council’s Wigtown area committee on Thursday.

Rowan Glen, which was was launched in 1993 and bought by dairy co-operative Dale Farm in 2002, is now planning a restructuring of the business with the livelihoods of 50 staff threatened.

A statement from the company said: “This restructure could result in a proposal to cease operations at these two facilities.

“Dale Farm recognises and appreciates the loyalty, hard work and commitment from employees at both sites. This consideration has been prompted by a thorough review of Dale Farm’s operations, examining which elements of the business are sustainable for the future.

“These two manufacturing sites compete in a market characterised by excess capacity and declining demand for their primary products. Aside from the market challenges, the sites are experiencing significant inflation and require major investment in order to remain viable.

“Dale Farm is now entering into a period of consultation with those impacted. Dale Farm will work closely with all employees and representatives, providing ongoing support throughout this process.”

Chairman Willie Scobie said: “I am sure I don’t need to spell out how devastating a blow this would be for the Newton Stewart, Palnure and Creetown area if this factory were to close.

“This would cause hardship to so many families who depend on their job at Rowan Glen.

“I would hope there is a plan in place to see how we could work with the company in the first instance to avoid any redundancies but we also have to think about discussing with other creameries, like the Galloway Cheese Company in Stranraer, to see if there would be any interest in any kind of takeover.”

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “This is devastating news for Newton Stewart and in particular the staff who are potentially facing losing their jobs.

“Unfortunately, I fear that this won’t be the last business to look at closing down its sites and I have already been in touch with the Scottish Government and local agencies to urge them to provide as much support to secure a future for the Rowan Glen site and those local jobs at risk.”

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