Iconic toffee saved from axe but jobs are still lost

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THE famous Highland Toffee bar is to be made in England after it was saved from the axe.

The future of the iconic sweet was in doubt after makers New McCowans went into administration with the loss of more than 100 jobs.

Tangerine Confectionery, which also makes Barratts Refreshers, Sherbet Dip Dabs, Black Jacks and Fruit Salads, has now stepped in to buy the brand. The company has also bought the cult favourite Wham Bar brand from New McCowans.

However, it is not purchasing New McCowans’ factories in Broxburn, West Lothian, where 90 jobs are expected to go, and Stenhousemuir, near Falkirk.

New McCowans ceased trading and shut its factory earlier this month but administrator Grant Thornton was hopeful a new owner would be found.

A number of potential buyers were in talks to take over the firm but no deal could be struck to save the workers’ jobs. All 106 employees at the factory were told they were out of a job at a meeting.

The staff will have to apply for redundancy packages through the government.

Workers have blasted the way they were treated after having worked for the firm for decades. One employee, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We were all totally shocked to be told we were out of a job.

“The administrators kept telling us they were in serious talks with a buyer and we would be fine. We all fully expected to be told at the meeting the factory was opening again, not that we were now unemployed.”

Alison Lewis, marketing director for Tangerine, said: “To have secured the Wham and Highland Toffee brands and to be adding them to a portfolio which includes some of Britain’s best loved sweets is a significant step for the business.”