Swinney urged to help affected firms

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Richard Baker MSP and Alison Evison, Labour Group leader on Aberdeenshire Council, have written to John Swinney to ask him to ensure businesses in Peterhead and across the Shire affected by the recent storm damage will receive support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

The call comes in the aftermath of the storm which saw many businesses in Aberdeenshire affected, including the Mapco fish processing factory in Peterhead which was destroyed, leaving some 22 employees without work.

Richard Baker said: “This storm has had a horrendous impact right across Aberdeenshire, with sea walls and flood defences affected from Fraserburgh to Stonehaven.

“The Scottish Government has indicated that it will support Aberdeenshire Council with the costs of repairing these defences, but there is also a need for the Scottish Government to help businesses affected too.

“This storm has cost people in Aberdeenshire their jobs at the worst possible time, just before Christmas.

“The destruction of the MapCo fish factory has left 22 people without work and it is vital that local businesses receive the support they need. For this to happen just before Christmas only makes this worse.

“I hope Mr Swinney can tell us there is a clear plan of action to support these people and businesses, particularly as this is also a crucial issue for the local economy.”

Alison Evison said: “Many people are now facing an uncertain future as both jobs and training opportunities have been lost. In addition, the damage caused to the Maritime Rescue Institute in Stonehaven means that it is less able to offer vital support to people whose jobs are based at sea.

“It is essential that the Government comes forward quickly with a plan to help all affected.”