Jobs at risk as Border Precision engineering firm calls in administrator

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A BORDERS engineering firm has called in administrators, putting 150 jobs at risk.

Border Precision in Kelso ran into trouble after directors warned of the impact of “unforeseen difficulties” of bringing new high tech equipment. According to its most recent accounts, losses put the firm hundreds of thousands of pounds into the red.

Robert Craven and Stuart Preston, corporate recovery specialists at accountants Grant Thornton, were appointed to handle the failed company last week. But they declined to comment and said it was “too soon” to determine if they were in a position to be able to rescue the firm or find a buyer.

Losses at the 37-year-old tool-making and electroplating company more than trebled to £645,000 in the year to the end of 31 October 2011 despite a healthy income of £7.1 million. Last year, in an effort to stay afloat, the company sold a parcel of land to a pension fund, raising £350,000.

The company employs 150 staff, according to the accounts. It’s highest paid director – thought to be managing director Wayne Ballantyne – was paid £119,474 in 2011.

In October, crews from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the company’s operations after vapour from aluminium filings caused a chemical alert.

In October 2011 the company brought in a high-tech automated laser welding system which it described as a “process of the future”.

In its most recent accounts, the directors admitted in a statement that the business had been “hugely impacted by unforeseen difficulties” with bringing in new technology. But it said that the issue had “stabilised” and that it was working with the supplier of the equipment to “achieve a long term solution”.