Brown bids to save Remploy sites

Gordon BrownFormer prime minister Gordon Brown has said there was no reason why two factories that employ disabled people should be axed, as he claimed eight potential buyers had come forward.

Mr Brown, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, has been spearheading a campaign to save the closure-threatened Remploy factories in Fife.

He and fellow Labour MP Lindsay Roy put forward a business plan for the sites at a meeting with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Scottish enterprise minister Fergus Ewing on Wednesday.

Following that, the two Labour politicians said eight possible new owners - six private buyers and two social enterprises - had come forward and expressed an interest in taking over the sites at Leven and Cowdenbeath.

In a statement, Mr Brown and Mr Roy said: "There is now no need to lose these factories and no reason why they should not stay operational.

"Having proved that these factories can be saved, we will not accept closure as an answer."

Mr Brown and Mr Roy, the MP for Glenrothes, vowed to continued to press the Government for transitional support to help the factories - which make lifejackets - to break even.

"We have shown how, without greater transitional help from the Government, manufacturing work would be lost to Asia from the UK, from factories which have full order books," the two men said.

"We will also ask the Scottish Government to help with the procurement of public sector and private sector contracts for Remploy while asking the Government to review high raw material costs which damage the chances of profitability.

"We do so because the Fife factories are in a unique position, with the chance to be viable because of the full order books and the international reputation of their product."

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