Wind turbine factory: 70 jobs could be lost in Campbeltown

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An offshore wind farmImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
CS Wind manufactures equipment for both onshore and offshore wind farms

Over 70 jobs could be lost at a wind turbine factory after management opened talks with staff and a union over possible redundancies.

CS Wind said "gaps in the order book" may lead to job losses at its Campbeltown factory in Argyll.

The company blamed reductions in support for renewable energy, as well as a failure to secure major project work for the rest of this year.

Unite is calling on the Scottish government to intervene.

Employees at the site, which manufactures both offshore and onshore wind farm equipment, will learn their fate next month after 30 days of discussions between union representatives and management.

CS Wind has blamed "extremely challenging" conditions in the onshore market, as well as reduced government support for offshore wind production.

The company failed to secure major work with the Kincardine and Triton Knoll offshore projects, although it says there are potential orders due next year.

If the company and the union fail to reach an agreement, up to three quarters of the workforce could lose their jobs.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
CS Wind has blamed a reduction in support for renewable energy

Unite has called the potential job losses a "major blow to Scotland's renewables manufacturing capacity."

Charlie Macdonald, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "There needs to be urgent intervention by the Scottish government because if the scale of these job losses goes unchallenged not only is there is a major cloud over the future of the factory in Campbeltown but also over Scotland's green manufacturing capacity."

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who has spoken to CS Wind management, said there was a commitment to "do all we can to support the company in their attempts to secure future work for the site".

He added: "We have also been working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Argyll and Bute Council to support infrastructure investment locally in an effort to enhance infrastructure of the site."

He said staff facing redundancy could be supported through Scottish government employment initiatives.

The manufacturing plant has been been in financial trouble previously. In 2011, a partnership between Scottish and Southern Energy and Marsh Wind Technology saved the factory and its employees four months after it went into administration.

The plant was bought by CS Wind, a Korean firm, in 2016.