A change of plan that will retain around 2,000 high-value jobs in South Lanarkshire has been enthusiastically welcomed.
Council Leader John Ross said it was “brilliant news” and the result of many years of discussion with HMRC that led to the reversal of a decision to close its tax office in East Kilbride and move most staff to Glasgow.
The decision follows high-profile efforts, led by the council and trade unions, to make the case for keeping the East Kilbride office open.
A report in 2018 into the implications of closure noted that HMRC employment accounted for about 8% of the jobs in the town, and closure would mean the town’s economy would lose as much as £30.7 million a year.
Councillor Ross said: “It was devastating news for the town and for all of South Lanarkshire when HMRC originally suggested they would close the local office as part of wider restructuring across Scotland.
“The council immediately moved to do everything we could to get a rethink, working with the trade unions, community organisations, local elected politicians and others to make a solid case for a change of mind. It is brilliant news and I am beyond delighted that all of these efforts have been successful.
“It is of course wonderful news for all the staff who were facing the difficult choice of relocating or finding alternative employment, and it is a real boost for East Kilbride and all of South Lanarkshire.”
Council Chief Executive Cleland Sneddon said: “This is a real game-changer for East Kilbride, as these are good quality jobs with an excellent employer that would otherwise have been lost. It is a real testimony not just to the efforts to convince HMRC to change its plans, but also to the resilience of the local economy and the quality of the workforce.
“I am pleased to say that we continue to discuss with HMRC how they can maximise the benefits to the town, the workforce and the taxpayer from the decision to stay in South Lanarkshire.”
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