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100 jobs to go as factory closes and operation moves to Scotland

By NeilShaw  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

Arjowiggins in Ivybridge

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AN IVYBRIDGE factory is to close with the loss of 100 jobs as its owner transfers operations to Scotland.

Paper mill Arjowiggins at Stowford Mill will close in 2014 under proposals announced today.

The company has blamed a decline in sales in Europe, and will transfer most of its operations to Stoneywood Mill in Aberdeen.

Staff will be offered the opportunity to transfer from the South Devon site, which makes printing and writing paper.

A spokesman said: "Arjowiggins regret to announce a proposal to transfer production of security and fine papers from their Stowford Mill in Ivybridge, mainly to their Stoneywood Mill."

Chairman of Ivybridge Chamber of Commerce, Richard Peachey, said the loss of the town centre's largest employer after the college would have a serious impact.

He said: "There have been rumours that the factory would lose jobs or close for some time but to hear it as reality is a serious blow for Ivybridge."

As well as being bad news for those directly involved, Mr Peachey said the closure would have a knock-on effect for the town.

He said: "Not only does Arjowiggins use local businesses, the people who work there shop in the town centre as it is within walking distance - other businesses wil feel the effect of this closure and it is clearly something we are going to have to discuss and plan for."

Mr Peachey said the chamber, along with the town council and South Hams District Council, would look at the support they could offer to those involved.

He said this would include 'beefing up' schemes already in place such as workshops and mentoring deigned to help people find employment.

Mr Peachey said the factory had a lengthy history in Ivybridge - it was built on the site of a former woollen mill 150 years ago - and had produced quality paper thanks to water running off granite on Dartmoor - but he said Aberdeen had a similar geography.

A spokesman for Arjowiggins said: "The proposal is in no way related to the performance of Stowford Mill and its employees.

"It is a credit to the commitment of employees who have worked hard to keep the Mill operational during the last decade or so, during which many similar small, long-established paper mills have closed."

Staff and unions will now enter a period of consultation.

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  • blogtodi  |  September 14 2012, 8:23AM

    In this modern age, queenie, there's little need to travel for meetings. Video conferencing has been around for years and allows meetings to feel as if everybody is in the same room. By reducing travelling, especially by air, we are doing our bit for environment. If businesses are failing in Plymouth, as they are in all towns and cities at the moment, it's because of the downturn of the economy not a lack of airport.

  • robertball01  |  September 14 2012, 8:17AM

    I don't know how many times i have said in this comment box, Plymouth with a poor infrastructure you will not be able to compete on the UK Plc stage. Its becoming more considered a poor backwater area which is a pain to get too! I was visiting my children in Plymouth last weekend and it took me longer with your roadworks to go from Plymstock to Town centre than it does from Glasgow - Edinburgh on the M8 need i say anymore.

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  • queenie1923  |  September 14 2012, 7:38AM

    hope that the council are happy with them selves by closeing the infamous airport, plymouth had alot lot of international business here the delegates use to fly in from london have there meetings stay in the city for a few days or even more , now that they have put that to bed plymouth is going to lose alot more businesses and jobs because no business men wants to drive to plymouth haveing yet another 4-5 hr drive there not just going to do it... i hope that there happy with themselves, coucil tax money over an welcomeing airport...... and they call themselves coucillers , sack em all cuz there all for themselves and not for the people of plmouth ...................

  • blogtodi  |  September 13 2012, 9:00PM

    Guess what - - - - - - - Plymouth used to have an airfield!

  • drt346ys  |  September 13 2012, 2:58PM

    Hopefully the Community College can make good use of it.

    |   -10
  • stratobuddy  |  September 13 2012, 1:36PM

    Guess what - - - - - - - Aberdeen has an airport!

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  • MissAnthrope  |  September 13 2012, 1:26PM

    All the 'paperless' businesses out there should hang their heads in shame. What is Tiny Tom to do at Christmas now?

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