Mortons Rolls announces return to production as new investor steps in

The popular Glasgow bakery has been saved after collapsing into administration earlier this month.

Mortons Rolls has announced it will restart production on Sunday after fears for the firm’s future.

The much-loved Glasgow brand has been saved from closure after the Scottish Government announced it had started talks with investors in a bid to rescue the 58-year-old company.

The factory in Drumchapel will recommence production on March 19 with around 110 workers, half of which were previously employed at Mortons before the company ran into difficulty.

Established in 1965, Mortons Rolls became a much-loved breakfast staple across Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

Last week a provisional liquidator was appointed after the company collapsed into administration.

The business ceased production on March 3 citing challenges from the Covid pandemic, the rise in energy prices and contractual obligations with large supermarkets.

A number of investors entered negotiations with HMRC, administrators and the Scottish Government with a view to ensuring that the business can continue trading.

The consortium PVL who are being represented by John McIlvogue have now taken ownership and control of the company’s assets, and say they are confident that they will be able to turn its fortunes around.

Mr McIlvogue said: “This is a bittersweet moment for me, for the people who work here and for the wider community that relies on the jobs this factory provides.

“None of us wanted the past couple of weeks to unfold in the way that they have, but it has been entirely outwith our control. The important thing now is that Mortons is back in action, we’ve got the workforce back on the production line, and we’re ready to start producing our famous rolls that the good people of Glasgow have been crying out for.”

He added that the firm would need “help moving forward” and added: “The business is undoubtedly viable – we have a world class product and an exceptionally experienced workforce, but the factory itself is antiquated and in need of a serious overhaul.

“That’s where we need the help of the Scottish Government and its agencies, something we are hopeful we can iron out in the coming weeks.”

He also expressed gratitude for Labour MSP Paul Sweeney who he describes as having been “instrumental in securing commitments from the First Minister that her government will support us”.

“We are confident that the government will see the benefit of keeping this brand alive and keeping these workers in long term, stable employment,” he said.

“In an ideal world these things would have all been sorted out before we restarted production, but the reality is we couldn’t leave the workforce in limbo. They needed us to unlock the gates and let them get back to work, and we knew that was the right and proper thing to do.”

He concluded: “Glasgow doesn’t need to worry about having nae rolls anymore; Mortons is back.”

Following the news, Labour MSP Paul Sweeney said: “It is with a sense of relief that after almost two weeks of intense, detailed discussions, production will now restart at Mortons Rolls and over 100 jobs have been saved.

“After meeting with John McIlvogue, I knew that he was serious about bringing Mortons back to life and that he cared deeply about the business and its excellent workforce, so I was eager to help him liaise with government ministers and support his negotiations to revive this iconic brand.”

He added: “These circumstances are by no means perfect, and there is still work to be done to make sure Mortons is a sustainable business that can thrive for generations to come. There is a commitment from the government to make sure they do everything in their power to make sure that is the case, and I will do everything in my power to hold them to that commitment. 

“The community of Drumchapel needs Mortons to thrive and I’m confident that with the right support to invest in modernising operations and with a renewed focus on their core bakery products, this business will outlive all of us. It has been a painstaking couple of weeks for everyone involved, but we got there in the end and I’m absolutely delighted that the people of Glasgow will be able to enjoy their favourite morning rolls once more.”

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