ONE in 10 workers in the Scottish town of Annan will lose their jobs with the closure of the Pinney’s fish processing plant.

Parent company Young's Seafood announced on Tuesday (3 April) that the factory would close and production would be moved to Grimsby.

The company, which supplies M&S, last night confirmed that 427 permanent jobs would go, as well up to 150 seasonal agency roles. The town has a working-age population of just 5,247.

READ MORE: Hundreds of jobs to go as smoked salmon produceraxes major Scottish processing plant

Politicians yesterday called on Marks & Spencer to help halt the closure.

Joan McAlpine, one of the region's MSPs, accused the retail giant of abandoning the people of Annan.

She accused M&S of squeezing suppliers on terms and said the closure of the Pinneys factory comes despite a £600,000 upgrade demanded by the company.

The SNP MSP said: "They should give them a fairer deal. M&S is huge, one of the biggest food producers in the UK, and I'm sure they could review contracts and find options that will save these jobs."

In a letter to the supermarket's chairman Archie Norman, she added: "This is all happening despite £600,000 being invested in Pinneys by Young's to ensure that it met M&S standards.

"Many of the Young's workers facing redundancy are from the same family and have spent decades producing top quality seafood for your customers. You have discarded them like spent packaging."

READ MORE: Hundreds of jobs to go as smoked salmon produceraxes major Scottish processing plant

Products made for M&S at Pinneys include the range of smoked salmon, shellfish and party snacks, as well as ready meals.

Young's said the factory, which opened in 1976 and became smoked salmon supplier to the Queen, had been earmarked for closure as production was "no longer financially sustainable".

If losses of the same scale were to take place in Glasgow, it would leave 48,000 people in the city out of work.

Emily Davies, 17, whose step-father works at Pinneys, has set up a petition calling for the factory to be saved. It already has 3,644 signatures.

She said: "Everyone has family who work in the factory - mothers, fathers and children. Now people are going to fall into the poverty trap and that is tragic.

"My step-dad is now 50 and this is the only thing he and his friends have ever known."

Labour MSP Colin Smyth said the impact of the job losses would be devastating for the workers and local businesses. He said: "This is like Glasgow losing 50,000 jobs overnight. It is a disaster for Annan and the south of Scotland.

"There are fundamental weaknesses in the Dumfries and Galloway economy that have been neglected for far too long and they are going to come back to haunt us."

The Scottish Government has announced that a multi-partner group will be set up to explore all options to safeguard the future of the factory.

Young's are recruiting for 50 jobs in the Annan scampi factory, where 110 people are currently employed, to meet increased demand. There is speculation it could be snapped up by the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation.

READ MORE: Hundreds of jobs to go as smoked salmon produceraxes major Scottish processing plant

The company's chief executive Bill Showalter said the planned closure of Pinneys did "not reflect on committed and skilled teams".

He added: "We have a long history of seafood production in Annan and whatever the outcome of the consultation we will continue to be a part of the community, given our other factory site within the town."

As it confirmed the intention to close Pinneys, Young's announced the creation of up to 200 salmon processing jobs in Grimsby after the takeover of M&S contracts formerly held by Five Star Fish.

It is thought 390 jobs will be lost in the Lincolnshire town because of Five Star's demise.

An M&S spokesperson said: "M&S is committed to paying a fair price to our suppliers and we are working closely with them, as part of our transformation programme, to create a faster supply base and improve value and availability for our customers."