Jobs go at McCowans as talks fail

More than 100 jobs have been lost after confirmation that one of Scotland’s most iconic firms has closed.

McCowans in Stenhouse-muir ceased trading and shut its factory earlier this month but administrator Grant Thornton was hopeful a new owner would be found.

A number of potential buyers were in talks to take over the firm behind sweet products including Highland Toffee and Wham Bars, however it confirmed on Tuesday no deal could be struck.

All 106 workers at the factory were told they were out of a job at a meeting. The staff will have to apply for redundancy packages through the government but have been paid their wages up to Tuesday.

Workers have blasted the way they were treated and many are joining the dole queue after decades of working for the firm.

One employee, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We were all totally shocked to be told we were out of a job.

“The administrators kept telling us they were in serious talks with a buyer and we would be fine. We all fully expected to be told at the meeting the factory was opening again, not that we were now unemployed.

“Many of us, myself included, have been here for 30 years or more and we are looking at getting five years’ redundancy because that is how long New McCowans has been paying our wages after buying the previous company out of receivership.

“I’m still in shock and can’t believe that I’m out of a job.”

A spokesperson from Grant Thornton said it would ‘continue to look at all potential options’.

Councillor Craig Martin, leader of Falkirk Council, said the local authority was working with partners to help those affected by the closure of the factory.

He added: “The loss of over 100 jobs is extremely severe for our economy and we extend our thoughts to the workforce and their families as this will be a testing time for them.”

Falkirk West MP Eric Joyce called for urgent talks with the administrators, Falkirk Council and the Scottish Government to support the staff who were now unemployed.

He said: “This is a terrible blow for the loyal workforce, for Stenhousemuir and the local economy.

“It is devastating that administrators have been unable to find a buyer for an iconic brand that is a Scottish institution.’’