Double blow for marine industry as 84 jobs go

Buckie yard has lost 68 jobs. Picture: Reuters
Buckie yard has lost 68 jobs. Picture: Reuters
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SCOTLAND’S shipbuilding industry suffered a double blow yesterday as 84 jobs were axed across two collapsed businesses.

Administrators were called in at Buckie Shipyard, one of the country’s oldest boat building firms, with the bulk of the 74-strong workforce laid off.

Hours later, the administrators appointed at Coastal Marine Boatbuilders in Eyemouth earlier this week made half its workforce redundant.

Buckie Shipyard, which was founded in 1903, designs, build, refurbishes and maintains boats for customers including Orkney Ferries & Harbours, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Scottish Sea Farms, and turned over £3 million.

The business had also recently moved into the offshore wind industry, providing engineering and maintenance services and had supplied aluminium catamarans for projects in Belgium.

The administration has been blamed on severe cash-flow problems stemming from “unsustainable costs, a marked contraction in demand and intensive price-led competition”.

Joint administrators Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan of accountancy firm RSM Tenon will now wind down and then close the business with the Buckie company’s assets being sold.
Six staff have been retained in the short term to assist with the winding down process but the remaining 68 workers have been made redundant.

Fraser said: “The directors and staff have worked long and hard to secure a future for the company. However, the financial pressures meant that administration was the only option.”

Councillor John Cowe, the chairman of Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure committee, said the council will do all that it could to support the staff affected.

Meanwhile, the joint administrators of Coastal Marine Boatbuilders in Eyemouth yesterday made 16 staff redundant.

The administration had been blamed on a reduction in the local fishing fleet, coupled with the loss of work to repair the local RNLI vessel, which is thought to have been centralised across the fleet.

Mark Phillips, of PCR Recovery, said: “Since our appointment we have conducted a review of the business and it was apparent that with the current level of activity the business was seriously over-staffed.

“We recognise that redundancies are extremely distressing for those affected but they were unfortunately necessary in order to protect the business.”

PCR said it had received several expressions of interest in the remaining business.