De­mand for £½m to be re­turned

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Marc McLean

The First Min­is­ter has been roped into the fight to get the own­ers of a for­mer Cam­bus­lang fac­tory to pay back £500,000 owed to the com­mu­nity.

The Re­former told last week how the now-closed 2 Sis­ters Plant had re­ceived more than £500,000 in fund­ing from Scot­tish En­ter­prise - on the grounds that it stayed open un­til at least 2020.

De­mands have been made for the cash to be re­paid, and Labour MSP James Kelly high­lighted the is­sue with Nicola Stur­geon at First Min­is­ter’s Ques­tions in Holy­rood last Thurs­day.

Mr Kelly called on Nicola Stur­geon to hand the money back to Cam­bus­lang.

The MSP wants the money to go to­wards lo­cal causes, in­clud­ing re­ju­ve­nat­ing the Main Street.

James Kelly said:“2 Sis­ters is guilty of eco­nomic van­dal­ism to Cam­bus­lang. The Scot­tish Govern­ment handed out half a mil­lion pound of pub­lic money to the com­pany in or­der to keep its fac­tory open un­til 2020.

“De­spite this, the plant shut down this year, cost­ing hun­dreds of jobs and wip­ing out a lo­cal em­ployer of 40 years.

“The First Min­is­ter must now get this cash back from 2 Sis­ters and give the £500,000 back to the Cam­bus­lang com­mu­nity.

“Peo­ple from the lo­cal area will rightly ques­tion the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s be­hav­iour to date, in giv­ing pub­lic money to an em­ployer which failed to meet its prom­ise. Now Nicola Stur­geon must stay true to her word and in­vest this cash in our area.”

Nicola Stur­geon said:“All Scot­tish En­ter­prise grants have con­di­tions at­tached. Those are writ­ten into the legally bind­ing con­tracts that are made with any com­pany that re­ceives a grant.

“Scot­tish En­ter­prise must en­sure that it is able to ob­tain re­pay­ment of a grant when there has been a fun­da­men­tal breach of an agree­ment.

“It is set out clearly in the of­fer let­ter that con­di­tions are at­tached to the grants.

“Scot­tish En­ter­prise is ac­tively in dis­cus­sion with 2 Sis­ters for the re­turn of the grant for the Cam­bus­lang site.

“In due course, we will have dis­cus­sions with the lo­cal com­mu­nity about fu­ture in­vest­ment there.”

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