Inverurie Paper Mill under threat

The Inverurie Paper Mill is facing possible closure after the announcement of a three-month consultation by owners International Paper of Memphis, Tennessee. The company say the business is unprofitable and not financially viable

In the days when the paper mill was locally owned and operated by the Tait family, there was some security in knowing that the business was firmly anchored in the area. Captain Copier, the mill’s main product, seemed to be in every office in the land. But, with the new ownership by a global paper giant, there has been growing concern in recent years.

Viewed from afar by a multi-national company, it must be difficult to justify keeping the mill open when labour costs are higher than in countries like India and the Far East. In European terms, there are the additional transport costs involved with having a mill located relatively far from the main markets.

Closure would jeopardise 400 jobs, which – although unemployment in Aberdeenshire is thankfully very low – would still be a body blow to local communities.

International Paper could easily have turned round and announced immediate or imminent closure. We should be thankful that they have embarked on a three-month consultation on the mill’s future.

It would be wonderful to think that the mill might be taken back into Scottish ownership, with sufficient investment to set up paper recycling and renewable energy generation to help cut raw material and operating costs. But, who would take on such a task?
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