24.09.2009

Contact lens firm"s money could help staff

Contact lens firm"s money could help staff

By Martin Burns

A repayment to the Scottish government by Bausch & Lomb could be used to help the workers who are losing their jobs.

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that the contact lens firm needs to give more than £1 million back to the Scottish government once it closes its Livingston-based plant.

More than £3 million of public funds were given to Bausch & Lomb in order to create work opportunities at the factory, £1.05 million of which was presented in 2005.

It came under conditions relating to the length of time the firm would stay in the same place and how many jobs it provided.

The contact lens giant said that it had fulfilled the requirements but would still give back the 2005 investment.

Livingston MSP Angela Constance said that people want the money to be used for the retraining of laid off workers and that Alex Salmond, the first minister, had been "sympathetic" to the plan.

Earlier this month, Scottish finance minister John Swinney told the BBC that the job cuts would go ahead at the firm after the government failed to help it find another course of action.

by Adrian Galbreth


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