Dutch food group Vion has received interest in its Hall’s of Broxburn site in the UK – a plant set for closure – from three potential bidders, according to Scottish government minister John Swinney.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood yesterday (18 September), Swinney said three suitors had contacted him and his officials over the loss-making meat processing plant.

“I have already met with one of the groups of bidders personally in my office and my officials have spoken with two others, making three interested parties at this stage,” he said. “The Government is only too prepared to advance dialogue with those parties to find if there is a way we can maintain employment at the Hall’s of Broxburn site.”

Swinney said he had met with Vion’s COO Peter Beckers earlier this month. The Government had offered the company funding to avoid the closure of the plant and save jobs at the site.

Vion, however, turned the offer down and said that given the scale of the losses and the “complexity and inefficient layout of the factory”, it was unable to accept the support.

“The manufacturing advisory service is continuing with its work on site and the company will continue dialogue with any interested buyers,” Swinney said yesterday. “In the next few weeks, the partnership action for continuing employment team will continue to deliver presentations to all 1,700 staff, in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland and Jobcentre Plus.”

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