Scottish Parliament stone firm in administration

The Scottish Parliament. Picture: Kenny Smith/TSPL
The Scottish Parliament. Picture: Kenny Smith/TSPL
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A QUARRYING firm which supplied world-famous Caithness stone for the new Scottish Parliament has gone into administration.

A combination of increasing competition, heavy investment expenditure and rising operating costs has resulted in severe and unsustainable cash flow problems for Caithness Stone Industries.

The company has been placed in administration with Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan of RSM Tenon.

Mined for over 200 years and recognised around the world, Caithness Stone adorns many landmark buildings and streetscapes, ranging from the streets of Boston and British Memorial Garden in New York to the modern Scottish Parliament building.

Whilst long-established in the public and commercial buildings markets, Caithness Stone is also widely used in residential bathrooms, kitchens and gardens, and has a high profile as a premium natural brand.

Based in Spittal, in Caithness, Caithness Stone Industries Ltd operated a number of quarries used for excavating the stone and for processing and despatching the finished stone.

Founded in 1999, the company had a turnover of just over £3m in 2012.

The company had supplied Caithness Stone to many contemporary building projects, included the Scottish Parliament, and a host of hotels, visitor centres and public buildings in the UK and further afield.

The business had also diversified into supplying the residential market by launching a range of new stone-based products for kitchen, bathrooms, gardens and furniture.

Iain Fraser, of the administrators, said: “Caithness Stone Industries had a high profile as one of the leading suppliers and processors of Caithness Stone.

“The company invested heavily in new technology in order to improve the efficiency of extraction and processing, and successfully diversified into new residential markets.

“We will now undertake a thorough review of Caithness Stone Industries Ltd, the results of which will determine the next steps for the administration.”