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43 jobs lost at Annan steel firm

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
43 jobs lost at Annan steel firm

ALL 43 staff at a long standing Annan construction firm were made redundant this week after the business went into administration.

Buyers are now being sought for Border Steelwork Structures Ltd in Queensberry Street, which also had an operational base in Carlisle.

The demise of the 45-year-old company has been blamed on “unsustainable financial and cash flow problems stemming from a marked downturn in contracts and rising operational costs”.

Michelle Elliot and Simon Carvill-Biggs, partners with FRP Advisory, have been appointed joint administrators of the business, which has ceased trading.

They will now market the business and assets for sale, which includes plant, machinery and a workshop in Annan.

Border Steelwork Structures Ltd was founded in 1978 and their design, detailing and administrative functions took place at a site in Kingstown, Carlisle, with fabrication carried out in Annan.

Contracts had included providing the design, detailing, fabrication and installation of structural steelwork, roofing, cladding and rainwater goods for a wide range of public and private sector clients.

The company had a turnover of £9m and employed 43 staff, all of whom lost their jobs with immediate effect.

Commenting, Michelle Elliot said: “Border Steelwork Structures Ltd is a long-established and highly regarded supplier of steel framed buildings for a wide range of sectors and industries.

“Unfortunately, the business has been severely affected by a dramatic downturn in contracts and income and despite the best efforts of the directors to effect a turnaround, administration was the only option.

“We will now focus on providing every possible support to the staff for claims to the Redundancy Payments Office and accessing support agencies and would ask interested parties to contact us promptly.”

Interested buyers are being asked to contact the Glasgow office of FRP Advisory as soon as possible.

Disappointed to hear the news, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “The loss of these jobs will be a huge blow to Annan and the surrounding area, and my thoughts are with everyone who worked at the firm.

“It seems like every week we’re hearing of different companies being forced to lay off staff.

“Industry across our region is facing huge challenges right now, from Brexit and the aftermath of the covid pandemic, to sky rocketing energy bills.

“Unfortunately, I fear that this won’t be the last business to look at closing down its sites and I would urge the Scottish Government and local agencies to provide as much support as possible for staff.”

Discussing the impact on the town, he added “This is the latest jobs blow for Annan, which has seen so many in recent years, from the long-term fall in employment at Chapelcross to the closure of Pinneys where the promised re-opening still hasn’t happened and most recently the announcement by Macfarlan Smith of the closure of their pharmaceutical plant in Newbie.

“I have long called for a proper economic recovery plan for the Annan area and if this latest news doesn’t prompt both our governments to get a grip and deliver one, backed by investment in job creation, then you do wonder what will.”

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