A RESCUE bid has been launched to try and halt the closure of a global firm’s only Scottish plant with the loss of around 75 jobs.

Politicians and representatives of both the UK and Scottish governments met with management at Argent Energy in Newarthill on Tuesday afternoon to try and thrash out a plan to save the site.

Motherwell and Wishaw SNP MP Marion Fellows was one of those who attended Tuesday’s crunch talks, along with area MSP Stephanie Callaghan.

Ms Fellows says employees have been stunned by the decision to shut the plant near Motherwell while ramping up investment at bases in England and the Netherlands.

Glasgow Times: Marion Fellows MPMarion Fellows MP (Image: Supplied)

She said: "Along with Stephanie, I met with management at Argent Energy to see if something can be done to save these local roles.

"The workers are shell-shocked by the announcement to consult on ceasing production at the plant. And well they might be, because I visited the company in June and all the talk then was of new investment at the Newarthill site.

"Just like the workforce, I am at a loss to see how this profitable production centre can go from being earmarked for significant new investment to where we are today.

"This has come as a bolt from the blue and I have urged the company to reconsider - and I hope that they do so.”

The MP says she plans to now take the matter to the Houses of Commons, adding: "Argent have had a strong and loyal workforce here since 2005 and we saw expansion in 2016.

READ MORE: Argent Energy workforce slam bosses over Newarthill site closure plan

“The company has blamed international market forces for this incredibly swift and fundamental change in fortune, but starving this site of the investment will have a lot to do with it.

"I will be raising this issue in parliament at the earliest opportunity. The workforce deserves much better than this."

Ms Callaghan also wrote to management at Argent Energy calling for the face-to-face summit.

Glasgow Times: Stephanie Callaghan MSPStephanie Callaghan MSP (Image: Supplied)

The SNP MSP, whose Uddingston and Bellshill constituency takes in the site, says she will also continue to rally the Scottish Government to see what it can do to try and help.

Ms Callaghan said: “My heart goes out to this loyal workforce suddenly faced with the prospect of redundancy.”

The Glasgow Times broke the news of the devastating plan last week, with bosses at the biodiesel producer blaming external factors affecting UK and EU markets following Brexit.

The firm also says that unprecedented competition from imported Chinese companies which benefit from state economic support and subsidies have badly hampered its ambitions - despite plans to at its plant in Amsterdam as the axe falls on the Scottish operation.

Argent, which uses waste fats and oils to decarbonise transport, said that it had faced "severe economic pressures" since 2022.

Glasgow Times: Argent EnergyArgent Energy (Image: Gordon Terris)

The plant, which has the capacity to produce up to 50 million litres of biodiesel a year, was the company's first location in 2005.

The Glasgow Times spoke to workers after the meetings, which they say have raised hopes that something can still be done.

One employee said: “The company are saying in the press that they are supporting staff, but it is the staff who are supporting each other. We have received an outpouring of support from the local community and business, with people getting in touch to let affected staff know of vacancies elsewhere, but the support from the firm has been very disappointing.

“The consultation process is under way and our representatives have put forward lots of questions on why the firm has favoured its Ellesmere Port site to the detriment of the Motherwell site. The reps have also put forward lots of proposals to save the site and these meetings with the MSP and MP have lifted spirits and our belief that we can still save our jobs.”

Workers claim the Ellesmere Port site is losing cash each month and is running at over production targets, while Motherwell was on the cusp of returning to profit.

The source added: “The decision makes no sense.”

Argent Chief Executive Officer, Louise Calviou, has described the decision as ‘difficult’.

She added: “This has been the hardest decision for us to make and is one we have not taken lightly. After careful consideration of market conditions and our strategic goals for global decarbonisation efforts, we believe it is a necessary step we need to take.”