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Gift firm news is a ‘bitter blow’

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West

A WIGTOWNSHIRE company which employs 26 people locally has commenced liquidation proceedings.

Signature Gifts Ltd was established in 2002 to specialise in personalised gifts and has 56 staff UK wide, including at their manufacturing base in Bladnoch.

A statement was posted on their website this week saying: “It is with deepest regret I announce that Signature Gifts Ltd is going into a company voluntary liquidation effective from April 11.”

The last set of company accounts, filed in March 2022, showed then that they had debts of £1.8 million, with an accompanying report from the directors noting that sales had dropped in 2021-2 by 15 per cent amid ‘very difficult trading’.

At that point the directors also warned that they did not “consider that the company is a going concern for a period of 12 months”.

But this week’s news still came as a shock to the local area and was described as a ‘bitter blow’ by South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

He said: “This is a bitter blow to the Wigtownshire economy, but in particular the loyal workforce at Bladnoch and my thoughts are very much with them and their families.

“The decision by the firm’s owners to sell a connected company which removed business from Signature Gifts has clearly made what was an already difficult position for the firm, impossible.

“You hope that a buyer can be found that would continue manufacturing at Bladnoch but we can’t underestimate how challenging that will be.

“This level of potential job losses in a small rural community is significant and it is vital that support is given ideally to find a way forward for the company, but realistically to support workers finding alternative employment and I have urged the Scottish Government and the local enterprise agency to ensure that support is in place urgently.”

Meanwhile, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has written to the boss of Signature Gifts offering his help.

He said: “I am very sorry to hear of the closure of Signature Gifts. It’s not just a very difficult time for the employees, it is yet another blow to the local economy.

“I have written to the CEO of Signature Gift to offer any support I can. That offer extends to employees facing uncertainty through this difficult period.

“I want to understand what involvement the local council and enterprise company have had prior to the announcement and if there was any effort to save the jobs?”

Dumfries and West, News

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