The Scottish government’s plan to overturn Diageo’s decision to axe up to 900 staff in Kilmarnock and Glasgow will still result in about 500 job cuts.

Under proposals being considered by Holyrood, Diageo will be offered a greenfield site in Kilmarnock to build a bottling plant in an attempt to keep jobs in the town. The government has conceded that 140 jobs will go at the Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow and that a further 360 will be lost at the drink giant’s other Scottish packaging plants to meet Diageo’s need to reduce labour costs.

Sources close to Diageo have poured scorn on the proposals. An insider said: 'Diageo intends to reduce its three bottling plants in Scotland to just two. If you talk about a new plant in Kilmarnock then you are looking at shutting one of the other plants. Either way, jobs will be lost.'

Sunday Times