BUCKIE Shipyard Limited, one of Scotland’s oldest specialist ship-building businesses, has been placed into administration with the immediate loss of 68 jobs.
The situation was caused by "severe cash flow problems stemming from unsustainable costs, a marked contraction in demand and intensive price-led competition", it was confirmed by administrators today (Friday).
Joint administrators Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan will now wind down and then close the business, while marketing the assets for sale.
Six of the company’s 74 employees will be retained in the short-term.
Mr 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. It is therefore with great regret that 68 jobs have been made redundant with immediate effect, with the balance of six being retained in the short term to assist with the winding down process.
"We will liaise with relevant organisations to provide staff with as much support as possible with the redundancy process We will also now market the assets of the business for sale and would urge interested parties to contact our Aberdeen office as soon as possible on 01224 562280."
Angus Robertson MP described the development as "very worrying".
"I sincerely hope that the administration process can result in a new start for the company and not a loss of an important business in the town.
"Buckie Shipyard has a long history in the east of Moray with its prominent role in Buckie Harbour and it will be a difficult time for the 68 workforce whose jobs are affected by this decision."
Buckie Councillor Gordon McDonald added: "The changes that have occurred in the fishing industry over the last 30 years with bigger and bigger boats and a corresponding reduction in smaller vessels has had a significant impact on yards like Buckie, and this news is clearly a shock for the town. The recent loss of RNLI work has also been significant.
"The public bodies in Moray, such as The Moray Council and Highlands & Islands Enterprise will, I am sure, work together in an effort to get the best possible outcome in the coming weeks for the employees affected and for the town as whole."