Shadow Minister for Transport and Islands, David Stewart, has said that he remains deeply concerned about the long term future of the Arnish fabrication yard in Stornoway after Scottish Ministers again failed to give any real reassurance on the yard’s future.
The Highlands and Islands Labour MSP had previously questioned the Energy Minister in Parliament about the economic impact of the downturn in the oil industry on the Highlands and Islands including the Arnish yard and later asked, in a Parliamentary Question, how the Scottish Government would avoid further job losses at the Stornoway yard. In response, Mr Ewing said: “With regard to the recent job losses announced at Burntisland Fabrications Ltd at Arnish and Fife, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and their partners are working closely with the company to help it diversify and grow its business and to help ensure its future both in Arnish and in Fife.
Mr Stewart said: “I welcome the fact that Highlands and Islands Enterprise is working to market the site as a prime business location for the renewables sector and the oil and gas and other sectors. However, I visited the yard last month and spoke with management and staff about their immediate futures and the Minister has given absolutely no reassurance about the future of current jobs under threat. This is not good enough.”
Mr Stewart continued: “With its highly skilled staff, deep water and land to develop, it is widely acknowledged that the yard offers huge potential for renewable energy work and as a facility to carry out future oil rig decommissioning. I would have expected more commitment from government to the current workforce, and more detail on what they are actually going to do to secure the future of the yard and it’s workforce.”