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Future of Aberdeen paper mill still uncertain after talks of new bid go silent

UNITED KINGDOM (From news reports) -- The fate of Aberdeen's Stoneywood paper mill remains uncertain, with talks of a potential new buyer going silent.

Over 300 jobs were lost last year when the paper mill, which is operated by Arjowiggins, entered administration.

An offer to take over the site, which has been based in the north-east for over 250 years, in November was rejected. However, last month, word spread of a potential deal with a new bidder.

At the time, Jackie Dunbar, MSP for Aberdeen Donside, wrote to Ivan McKee, the Scottish Government's Minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, urging that the bid be taken seriously.

However, since then, there has been no further word on the future of the paper mill, with the deadline for bids ending on February 21.

It is hoped that a new buyer would allow the site to continue running as a paper mill amid fears that the historic factory could be 'asset stripped' with major parts taken out by a new buyer - and no paper being made there.

Councillor Deena Tissera of Aberdeen Labour said: "On February 13 during a by-election for Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone, SNP's Jackie Dunbar MSP told us that there was a credible bid to save jobs at the Stoneywood Paper Mill, over a month later the public and those employed at the Mill have heard no further details from their MSP.

The deadline for bids was February 21 yet to date the only thing we hear from the MSP is silence. Aberdeen Labour did ask for clarity around the MSP's statement at the time, but none was forthcoming.

Councillor Tissera added: "The SNP are content to use a cynical approach to politics which appear to be on the surface credible, but once you get underneath and examine the actualities of the situation, it becomes clear they have little substance to them.

"As we have seen in the SNP leadership campaign and with the outgoing First Minister the SNP are the masters of spin but those working at Stoneywood don't want spin they want jobs and as such Jackie Dunbar has let her constituents down"

In her letter to the Minister of Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ms Dunbar said: "Every effort must be made to ensure the site remains industry - ideally with the site being taken over and continuing as a paper mill - and I am sure the local community would welcome new jobs being created in the area."

Jackie Dunbar, MSP, has been approached for comment.

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