Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan and Angus MacNeil MP have expressed their dismay at the news today that telecoms company Talktalk are set to close their site in Stornoway.
Earlier today, the company announced that it would be making all 59 staff at its site in Stornoway redundant as of July this year. Talktalk are one of the largest private sector employers on the island and have had a presence in Stornoway since the site at Gleann Seileach Business Park was acquired from OneTel in 2005.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “Today’s news is deeply troubling, and my thoughts are with the staff and their families at what will be a very difficult period for them.
“For an economy the size of the Isle of Lewis’, the impact of the loss of 59 jobs cannot be overstated. It is proportionate to job losses in the thousands for a city the size of Glasgow. This is a real body blow to the Isle of Lewis.
“Since being informed of the company’s intentions earlier this afternoon, I have spoken to HIE and have asked the Scottish Government’s Business Minister, Jamie Hepburn MSP, what the Government can do to help in this situation.
“This is a site that has operated in one form or another for more than a decade and it is important that all options are now explored to try and ensure its future.”
Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said: “Having spoken with TalkTalk, it is obviously disappointing to hear that they have taken this step. TalkTalk acknowledge that they have highly skilled staff in Stornoway, dealing with complex customer complaints.
“This will be affecting 59 people in total and will be devastating for them. However, I would also like to take the opportunity to flag up to other companies that there is the potential to employ 59 highly capable, highly trained conscientious staff and who have been one of the best operators in TalkTalk.
“What TalkTalk are doing is essentially centralising around Salford, Manchester. They will not be talked out of that decision it appears. I am not sure what might happen in the future but we clearly have to flag up that there is an opportunity for another company who want to have such highly trained staff to gain from this situation.
“Meanwhile, our thoughts are with the employees and families affected. This is obviously a very difficult situation and alarming news for them.”