ALMOST 400 people have signed a petition asking Argyll and Bute Council to find an engineering firm a new yard, after it was evicted.
ALMOST 400 people have signed a petition asking Argyll and Bute Council to find an engineering firm a new yard, after it was evicted from its North Connel premises.
Sara Stephenson started the campaign after PMG Services was told that it would have until September to find a new site.
The council issued the business with a ‘ planning enforcement notice to vacate the premises’ earlier this year, following a number of complaints, after the business was established in 2010 without the required planning permission.
Ms Stephenson, who lives in Australia with her boyfriend, said: ‘ My partner has worked with PMG since early on. He served his apprenticeship with them, and has worked with them since. They have also kindly kept his job open for when we arrive home.
‘The council go on about wanting to keep young people in the area, and the majority of those who work for PMG are young.’
PMG Services employed eight members of staff, two of whom were apprentices.
‘It would be awful for these skilled young guys to lose their jobs,’ Ms Stephenson added. ‘Especially in an area where similar jobs are few and far between.
‘The council would be making a huge mistake not helping PMG out as it’s a growing business and therefore plays a vital part in the local economy.
‘The petition gained a good amount of support the first week, sitting at about 400 supporters just now, but I would love to get to 500.
‘I’d like to see the council putting in a real effort to find a solution, either by finding PMG new premises or allowing them more time in their current premises.
‘It would be a great shame to see this, young, successful business have to close its doors due to Argyll and Bute Council being unable to assist.’
Peter MacGregor, who owns the company, said that nothing has changed, and he is no closer to finding an alternative site. He was originally told that there would be place for him in Oban airport, but this fell through.
‘They [the council] have left me with three months to move somewhere and there are no other sites,’ he said.
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara said: ‘I pledged to put the economic regeneration of Argyll and Bute first and foremost prior to the general election and that remains my commitment.
‘I will do everything I can to assist our local businesses to thrive, particularly in these turbulent times. I am very keen that all stakeholders have open dialogue and I remain certain a solution can be found for PMG.’
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman added: ‘We have been in discussions with the owner of the business and continue to offer appropriate support and assistance.’
Peter MacGregor, right, with some members of staff at the yard in North Connel.