Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil says he is delighted that the threat to Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) has been lifted.

A financial package to complete the contract has been provided by Seaway Heavy Lifting, SSE and the partners to the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, JCE Offshore. 

The Scottish Government has also indicated that it will, if necessary, make available a commercial loan facility to BiFab.  The agreement follows work by the Scottish Government over the last week and intensive negotiations over the last two days led by the First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Fairwork and the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy with Bifab, Seaway Heavy Lifting, SSE, Siemens, and the partners in the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project.

Angus MacNeil said:  “Yesterday, I said that I was heartened that Nicola Sturgeon MSP First Minister of Scotland had made this a priority and I am delighted that the hard work of The Scottish Government, together with interested companies has resulted in a positive outcome.

“When I visited the Arnish Yard yesterday there was a determination from management and the GMB Union to find a solution.

“This is absolutely fantastic news and will be a huge relief for the Arnish workforce and their families.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has also expressed the sense of relief in the Isle of Lewis, after a Scottish Government brokered deal was reached today (Saturday) to prevent BiFaB Ltd from going into administration.  The deal will see BiFab and its contractors reach an agreement to ensure that work continues at the Arnish yard as well as the company’s bases in Fife.

The news comes after days of intense talks held by the Scottish Government, and after a direct appeal to the companies concerned from the First Minister. Alasdair Allan MSP commented:  “In recent days, many families in Lewis have had real cause to worry about their jobs and livelihoods. So today’s announcement that a deal has been reached represents the best possible news. BiFab is not going into administration, and the current contracts at Arnish will be completed.

“I want to pay tribute to the commitment of the highly skilled workforce at Arnish, and the constructive attitude they have taken throughout this difficult time. Reaching a deal between the various commercial interests involved has required days of negotiation.

"The intervention of the First Minister, who came back early from engagements in Germany to take part in the talks herself, was I believe a decisive factor, but I would also like to thank my ministerial colleagues Keith Brown and Paul Wheelhouse for the many hours they have devoted to this issue.

"I also want to recognise the contribution made by the unions, some of whom I had a chance to meet with outside Holyrood this week, and by the different companies involved in the initial dispute, who have moved a long way to reach this agreement.

“The emphasis now will be on ensuring that Arnish receives new orders in the future, something which I believe it is well placed to do, given the growing market in the renewables sector for the work that it does.
“Today’s news, meanwhile, will represent a great Christmas present for the Isle of Lewis.”