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Engineering firm goes into administration

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By Abbey Morton
Front

A BLUE chip company from Dumfries specialising in armoured vehicles has gone into administration -with the future uncertain for its 140 employees.

Administrators Armstrong Watson announced on Wednesday that they had taken over control of Penman Engineering in Heathhall.

A statement on Penman’s website explains: “The affairs, business and property of the companies are being managed by the joint administrators.

“The joint administrators act as agents of the companies and without personal liability.

“The companies are continuing to trade at the present time under the control of the joint administrators, whilst a search is conducted for a purchaser.”

The business, which has been running since 1859, employs around 140 people from across the region at their 15-acre site creating armoured, military and specialist vehicles.

Dumfries MSP Oliver Mundell has expressed his concern at the company’s position and hopes to meet with administrators as soon as possible.

He said: “This is hugely worrying news for the workers at Penman and their families who rely on the jobs at the site.

“I am very committed to working closely with the appointed administrators who I’m looking to meet with in the coming days to ensure workers are protected and that a buyer can be found as quickly as possible for the business.

“My priority right now is to ensure that jobs are protected at the site in the event of any sale to make sure Penman Engineering remain a major employer in the area.”

Meanwhile councillor and MSP Colin Smyth has said the company has faced issues recently.

He said: “The challenges the company have faced in recent months have been well known within the business community and local agencies and this news won’t come as a surprise to many, although there was a hope that administration could have been avoided.

“It is vital that local agencies now do all they can to continue to support the company to find a way forward and that now means finding a new owner.”

He added: “I will be pressing the administrators to do that in a way that secures the maximum number of jobs.

“Penmans provides a specialist product and it is clear there is a lot of interest in the company and there should be no reason why it can’t be taken over as a going concern.”

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