MSPs Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith have said they are very concerned at a “massive” jobs blow for Perth following an announcement from OVO Energy that they are to close their site in the city.
OVO confirmed that the Perth premises, which is understood to house around 700 employees, will be axed in the final quarter of this year due to “organisational changes” by the company.
OVO took over the retail arm of energy firm SSE in January 2020. It later made some Perth staff redundant but claimed it would maintain a “significant workforce” in the city.
Commenting on the latest announcement, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “This is a massive jobs blow for Perth and I am very concerned to hear this announcement. It sounds like OVO have broken their pledge to have a presence in Perth, after SSE having such a long association with the city.
“We have been told by OVO that there are around 700 staff at their site in Perth, so it is obviously a very worrying time for them.”
Mr Fraser continued: “OVO has said they will operate voluntary redundancies and that staff will either be allocated to the three remaining sites – a new hub in Glasgow, Bristol or London, if they live within 30 miles of one of these. However, Perth staff won’t be able to move to any of these sites, so we will be asking the Scottish Government what support they will be offering to the OVO employees in Perth.”
And Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith, who also represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, added: “This is awful news for Perth and for OVO staff who work there. It is undoubtedly a major jobs blow for the city.
“The company should be doing all they can to support its workforce and I am sad to hear they are launching a voluntary redundancy scheme.”
OVO Energy is cutting 1,700 jobs across the UK as part of a restructure programme.