The Scottish Government said it is willing to provide cash help to keep the McVitie’s biscuit factory in Tollcross.

It has been asked by a Glasgow MSP to provide funds for a new biscuit factory to keep the 500 McVitie’s jobs in Glasgow.

During a debate in the Scottish Parliament Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour MSP, said while he recognised the efforts made by the government setting up an action group with the trade unions which put forward a counter proposal to closure, there needed to be financial backing behind it.

Glasgow Times:

His plan is to build a new modern factory and lease it to the company.

He said: Has the Scottish Government, in negotiations, explicitly said to Pladis that it would provide the capital funding to build the new factory? If not, why not?

“Pladis operates sale-and-lease-back arrangements for a number of its sites in Chiswick, High Wycombe and Carlisle. The assertion that it is not open to that financing structure is unconvincing and does not stand up to scrutiny. We need more from the Scottish Government.

“I once more ask it to commit to funding the counter proposal. Let us save those jobs and not add McVitie’s to the growing list of brands lost because of Scotland’s lack of an industrial strategy.”

He added: “The blame for the closure lies squarely with Turkish-owned multinational Pladis, which took control of McVitie’s and the wider United Biscuits group in 2014. However, the Scottish Government is far from having exhausted all options at its disposal.

Kate Forbes, Finance Secretary, outlined the measures the Scottish Government had taken including the offer of finance.

Glasgow Times: Finance Secretary Kate Forbes at Holyrood wednesday on Scotland's economic recovery...Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..2/6/21.

She said: “We were prepared to engage with Pladis on how best to progress a commercial proposal, but before discussions had begun, it confirmed its intentions.

She added: “I make it clear that the First Minister and I have been absolutely transparent and open about our willingness to provide financial support if it means that Pladis will keep the factory open.

“We have articulated that position in letters as well as in, albeit virtual,face-to-face conversations.

“What would not be helpful to the workers or the negotiations would be our offering a blank cheque without any firm commitment that Pladis will keep the factory open.

“The fear is that whatever we offer will always be too low for a company that is determined to shut down the factory.”