A CARNOUSTIE councillor is calling for more business investment in the town following the closure of two local companies.
On Friday, receivers were called in at the health club of Olympic silver medallist Liz McColgan and Pitlivie Holdings, the parent company of Carnoustie Castings announced it would have to close the doors of its foundry on Anderson Street.
It is believed that the debt at Liz McColgan’s Health Club runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds, forcing the surprise closure last week.
McColgan (48) made the following statement on Friday: “Regrettably today I was advised to close the gym till further notice .
“As most know I am going through a divorce and for over two years now I have financed the gym and my children alone. I would like to thank all members for their support over the years. And thanks to all my staff for their loyalty and hard work through what has been a very difficult time.”
Less of a surprise was the closure of Carnoustie Castings, which has suffered under rising costs, but hopes to find new roles for all eight workers affected.
On the bright side there have been rumours that the Carnoustie Golf Hotel has been acquired by London-based Bespoke Hotels. However, both owners Oxford Hotels and Inns and Bespoke were unable to confirm a sale.
Independent Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd is hoping for some good news amongst all the bad.
He said: “It’s very sad to see any business close. It just seems to be that we’re getting somewhere then something closes.
“But we’ve got to remember the Carnoustie Hotel is one of the biggest employers in the town and if the rumours are true then I’m hoping the new owners will be coming to the town with a new outlook on investing in Carnoustie in terms of its future.”
According to Councillor Boyd Angus Council is currently doing all it can to combat the recession. He explained: “Angus Council is doing its best to try to facilitate things, but you can’t get blood out of a stone, people have to want to invest.
“We are giving priority to try and bring a business park to the town. That is still very much on the agenda for Angus Council.
“We are a rural community and we are in competition with cities. People prefer cities when they are looking at opening up a business, so we must encourage companies to see the benefits of a rural life for their staff.
“The council is giving a small business rate relief that enables people to start up. I know there are a few shops which are only able to survive because of this.”
Councillor Boyd believes more can be done by the government to help the local economy, and that changes to the welfare system will negatively affect Angus.
He said: “We are in the middle of a recession. If the government brings in the latest cuts in benefits, which will affect not just people on the dole, but people who receive all kinds of benefits, it’s going to take £13 million out of the Angus economy.
“That’s £13 million of people’s money not being spent in local supermarkets, or doing away with normal spending habits like not buying the local newspaper or spending it on the High Street. I’m a strong believer personally that governments need to invest their way out of a recession, not employ austerity measures.”