Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has warmly welcomed the news that new investment has been secured for BiFab – securing the future of the Arnish yard.

Canadian company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, has acquired BiFab as part of an agreement brokered by the Scottish Government to support new opportunities at these yards for fabrication and construction in the marine, renewables and energy sector.

As part of the agreement, announced today by the First Minister, the Scottish Government will take a minority shareholding in the new company to demonstrate continued commitment to supporting the future of the three yards.

The workforce at Arnish has been reduced to around 6 employees as the yard transitioned to care and maintenance.

Alasdair Allan said:

“These talks have been underway for some time now and I am really delighted to see today’s deal – which will see work return to all three yards – concluded. When BiFab got into difficulty last year, the Scottish Government made a commitment to stand by BiFab and work to secure a long term future for jobs and that is exactly what has happened.

“I would like to pay tribute to my Scottish Government colleagues Keith Brown MSP and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, who have done a tremendous amount of work to ensure these yards have a future. The workforce at Arnish have demonstrated great resolve and determination in the face of this ordeal, and the unions have worked hard to achieve a positive outcome. Were it not for the combined efforts of the community and the Scottish Government, it is questionable what the state of play would be today.

“These are good jobs which are important to the island economy. I am eager to hear what orders the yard will get and how many jobs are likely to come back. Economy Secretary Keith Brown will be providing Parliament with what information is available this afternoon.

“This episode has highlighted a number of issues which will have to be addressed, not least the need to retain skills here on the island through apprenticeships and training, and ensure that workers can have confidence their employment will not be short-term.”

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