Hall’s of Broxburn plant demolished

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THE former Hall’s of Broxburn meat processing plant has been reduced to rubble as work on its demolition nears completion.

The factory, which was built in 1932 and was once the main employer in the West Lothian town, closed last February with the loss of 1700 jobs.

The once bustling Broxburn plant has been demolished. Picture: Jane Barlow

The once bustling Broxburn plant has been demolished. Picture: Jane Barlow

Dutch owner Vion had agreed a deal to sell the Hall’s brand and recipes, including its famed lorne sausages, Wee Willie Winkies sausages, haggis and black pudding.

The site is being sold to an anonymous buyer whose plans have not yet been disclosed.

Yesterday, bulldozers were completing the demolition, with the site due to be cleared by the end of next month. Just one building remained standing – the chill area where food used to be stored before being dispatched.

Richard McCulloch, director of Dem Master, said the job was almost complete.

He said: “There is not much left to do at all and work will be completed in a few weeks.

“There may be a prospective buyer who may develop the site.”

Vion Food Group bought the Broxburn plant in August 2008. By July 2012, the company announced it was recording “unsustainable losses” at the meat processing plant, which was at the time handling 8000 pigs per week.

It emerged that the plant was losing £79,000 per day due to “significant over-capacity in the UK meat industry”.

The decision to close was announced in October 2012 after Vion rejected two offers for the site, saying neither had been “viable”.

Hundreds of butchers, packers and other workers left the plant during the phased closure which was completed in February last year.

The announcement was likened to a pit closure, and one union convener said at the time: “Not only were they losing their jobs but they were also leaving colleagues that they have known for years.”

Traders in the area said they feared for their livelihoods, and more than £8 million was ploughed into rebuilding the local economy following the closure.

But following efforts by a Scottish Government-led task force, many of the former workforce now appear to have found jobs.

In November last year it emerged that an estimated 1000 employees who lost their jobs are now in new work. While some former employees have started up businesses, others have been re-employed in food processing plants around the Central Belt.