21 April 2000

ABP delays closing Bathgate plant

MEAT processing firm ABP has extended by a month the date for closing its Bathgate plant near Edinburgh.

A spokesman said that the company had decided to continue operating what is Scotlands biggest sheep slaughterhouse, capable of handling 500,000 lambs a year, until May 10. That would give it time to discuss a number of options, including one from the local management for reducing costs early in the season.

But, despite rumours, it is understood that a management buy-out is not on the cards. And there seems to be little prospect that the one-month reprieve signals any real hope that ABP will reverse its decision to close the plant.

Although unable to confirm that, the spokesman did, however, reiterate ABPs previous indications that its future activities lay with beef, rather than sheep. &#42