371 jobs go as paper mill closes

When US paper giant, International Paper, announced they were having a three-month consultation over the future of Inverurie paper mill, at Port Elphinstone close to Kintore, the outcome seemed inevitable.

Inevitable it may have seemed, but it is no less shocking when the announcement of closure in March with 371 job losses came this morning.

It is particularly sad to those of us who can remember the mill’s heyday when Captain Copier photocopy paper seemed to be the standard in offices up and down the land.

culter paper mill
In the shadow of Bennachie, Inverurie Paper Mill (right) will close next month

At that time the mill was in local ownership. Viewed from Memphis, the picture probably looked a bit different.

"Over the last three months, we have worked hard together with the appropriate representatives to evaluate alternatives for the future of the mill,” said Mary Laschinger, president of International Paper Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. “Unfortunately, none of the options provided a business plan that was financially viable and that would safeguard jobs.

"I am very saddened for our people and the local community that we had to come to this decision but we have acted in order to match our machine capacity to the paper volumes demanded by our customers."

"This is a drastic blow to Inverurie and the North East economy,” said Dr Nanette Milne, North East Scotland MSP. "I believe that the site and its strategic position just off the A96 and close to Aberdeen Airport can be developed and is a significant going concern.

"I hope that International Paper will meet with Scottish Enterprise and elected representatives at the earliest opportunity to try to find a way to develop future industries on the site."
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