Dozens of jobs under threat at Aberdeen paper mill

Dozens of jobs are under threat at an Aberdeen paper mill which was saved from closure last year.

Arjowiggins Stoneywood said the “significant impact” of the coronavirus pandemic meant about 70 of its 400-strong workforce were at risk.

It comes just over a year after the business was sold to a new parent company, securing the future of the site and hundreds of jobs.

The Stoneywood paper mill has been operating for 250 years.

Jonathan Mitchell, chief executive officer of Arjowiggins, said although some recovery was expected next year, a full return to pre-Covid conditions and plans was not anticipated.

“Despite trading losses over the last six months, the business has managed to navigate through the pandemic”, he said.

‘Not an easy decision’
“However, we must prepare ourselves for the challenging future and we have therefore had to take the difficult decision to restructure the Stoneywood mill to adjust the capacity in order to match expected demand.”

He said a consultation with the Unite union and employee representatives concerning about 18% of the workforce was under way.

Mr Mitchell added: “Having experienced the elation of successfully exiting administration a year ago and creating some true positive momentum in the first six months, a restructuring programme was the last thing that we had on our minds.

“It has not been an easy decision to take and we are acutely aware of the impact that it will have on those directly affected and the wider community.

“However, it is necessary so that we can continue to build on our plans and service our customers worldwide despite a challenging economic outlook.”

‘Devastating blow’
Shauna Wright from the Unite union said: “This is another devastating blow for members within the Stoneywood mill.

“Unite will look at every means possible to mitigate any redundancies, and we will work closely with our members and management to prevent as many compulsory redundancies as possible.”

The purchase of the paper mill in September last year – for an undisclosed sum – was made by subsidiaries of a new venture, Creative Paper Holdings Ltd.

The deal was supported with £7m of funding from Scottish Enterprise.