60 redundancies at Dunoon construction firm

The Scottish Government has announced it is making every effort to support workers in Dunoon following news that 60 staff at Stewart McNee construction in the town are being made redundant.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing said, “KPMG have confirmed that they have made 60 employees of Stuart McNee construction redundant, most of whom live in the town. This news will be devastating for employees, their families and the town of Dunoon and the Scottish Government will do everything possible to help.

“Our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is already engaged with the administrators, who will issue a letter on our behalf inviting employees to attend four PACE drop in sessions over the next fortnight to provide immediate help. Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to minimise the time that individuals affected by redundancy are out of work. Skills Development Scotland will also help the five Modern Apprentices who trained at the company.”

Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG were appointed as Joint Administrators of Stewart McNee (Dunoon) Limited on Thursday 23 July 2015. The appointment was made by the company’s directors.

Formed in 1973, Stewart McNee (Dunoon) Limited was a highly-respected and family-owned construction business, operating predominantly in west central Scotland, the Cowal Peninsula and the surrounding islands, from its headquarters in Dunoon, Argyll.

Following a long period of successful trading, generating turnover of c£9.2 m and employing more than 60 staff at its peak in 2010, the company has faced tough trading conditions following the well-documented downturn in the UK construction and house building market.

The combined effects of the downturn in the market, significant investment in development land at Gerhallow in Dunoon for housebuilding (which has still to generate any returns for the company) and a recent contract dispute, have resulted in the company experiencing significant cash flow difficulties in recent months.

The extent of those cash flow difficulties ultimately proved insurmountable, resulting in the directors seeking the appointment of the Joint Administrators.

Due to a lack of available funds, the Joint Administrators had no option other than to make 60 of the company’s 61 members of staff redundant with immediate effect.

As a result, the Joint Administrators immediate efforts will be to ensure all employee issues are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible, through close consultation with the relevant government agencies. Thereafter, the focus will be on maximising realisations from the company, which are principally contract work in progress and debtors, property and plant.

Blair Nimmo, Joint Administrator and Head of Restructuring for KPMG in Scotland said, “It is highly regrettable that such a long-established family business and significant employer in the Cowal Peninsula, has succumbed to market and cash flow pressures. Our immediate priorities are to ensure that all employees are supported, working closely with the relevant government agencies. We will explore the possibility of transferring existing contracts to another contractor as we seek to maximise asset realisations.”

Anyone with an interest in the assets of the Company should contact Tony Friar on 0141 226 5511.