AN iconic firm which used to supply the red paint for the Forth Bridge is to close its Dunfermline site with the loss of around 30 jobs.

Craig & Rose said production will start to wind down from July 1, the building on Crossgates Road in Halbeath has been sold and is expected to be vacated in August.

Although the firm's name will not disappear, paint will no longer be made in Scotland with plans to move production to France and distribution to Suffolk.

Two Craig & Rose shops, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, will remain trading.

For many years the firm supplied the red oxide paint that was used on the Forth Bridge. For many years the firm supplied the red oxide paint that was used on the Forth Bridge. (Image: Newsquest)

The firm was founded in Edinburgh in 1829 by two Scottish entrepreneurs, James Craig and Hugh Rose, and spent most of its life on Leith Walk before moving operations across the Forth in 1999.

The then UK chancellor, Gordon Brown MP, officially opened their premises in Dunfermline the following summer.

Craig & Rose was bought over by Dulux Group (Australia), which is a different company to the Dulux we know in this country, in 2016.

It was once said that the painting of the Forth Bridge was a job for life, as it took so long to do that once it was finished it needed re-painted again.

The firm supplied the red oxide paint that was used to coat the 134-year-old structure for many years. The contract ended in the 1980s.

News of the closure was broken to the staff in December by the managing director, Mark Beauchamp.

A former Dunfermline councillor, Garry Haldane, found out about the impending closure and contacted the Press to say: "Unfortunately, all staff members will lose their jobs without any assistance for retraining or finding new employment.

"Additionally, employees were warned that speaking to the media would result in the removal of their settlements.

"This decision, tantamount to a large scale fire and rehire, is particularly concerning given that French counterparts will receive lower wages than the Dunfermline staff.

"It raises questions about the company's responsibility.

"Is the Scottish Government aware of this situation, and if so what steps have they taken to support this longstanding, respected company in Fife?"