ADMINISTRATORS called in to Shetland-based civil engineering firm MK Leslie say that 50 people have been made redundant and the company has ceased trading.
MK Leslie was set up in April 1993 by Keith Leslie using a single excavator, and grew to employ almost 60 people working out of Scalloway and Inverness.
However a reduction in work and bad debts from other firms that have gone out of business over the last two years have pushed one of Shetland’s leading construction firms over the edge.
KPMG said they had appointed joint administrators on Tuesday, at which point the company stopped trading.
MK Leslie employed 30 people in Shetland and 29 in Inverness, where they had opened an office in 1996.
Fifty people have now been made redundant while nine people are assisting with existing contracts and site maintenance, including five in Shetland.
Joint administrator and KPMG’s head of restructuring in Scotland, Blair Nimmo, said: “MK Leslie is a well known firm with a strong reputation in Shetland and the north of Scotland.
“However the company has suffered through continued economic challenges and was directly affected when a number of its customers went out of business.
“Unfortunately on our appointment we had no option but to make a number of immediate redundancies.
“We will be working with all affected staff to help them find the support they need to find new employment and thank all involved for their co-operation in this difficult time.
” The joint administrators are taking all steps to identify parties that may have an interest in the businesses.”
The company’s managing director Keith Leslie blamed a drop in council contracts, tight margins and a huge debt burden of around £500,000 from contractors that had also gone under during the past two years.
MK Leslie specialised in plant hire, construction, civil engineering, pipeline construction, landfill development and demolition services.
Anyone who thinks they may have such an interest can contact KPMG at Saltire Court , 20 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2EG , or phone 0131 222 2000.
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