47 jobs go at roofing firm

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ALMOST 50 jobs have been shed in Bo’ness, as administrators took up the reins at timber engineering firm Donaldson and McConnell last Friday.

Tough times in the construction sector proved insurmountable for the Grangemouth Road outfit and 47 of the 56 local staff were made redundant with immediate effect.

As well as the Bo’ness HQ and manufacturing plant, the firm has sites in West Brom- wich, Kent and Northern Ireland. Annual turnover was £11.3 million and there were 114 staff nationally; 102 lost their jobs last week.

Formed in 1991, Donaldson and McConnell were timber roofing design, supply and build specialists, but had stopped trading shortly before KPMG’s appointment as adminstrative receivers.

KPMG’s Blair Nimmo said: “In common with many companies that supply the construction sector, Donaldson and McConnell has experienced very challenging conditions in recent times, with the reduction in construction activity reducing demand for the group’s products.

“The directors have made considerable efforts to reduce the cost base, but unfortunately cost-cutting measures were insufficient to stem trading losses and cashflow pressures.

“We have started to assess the group’s customer contracts with the intention of completing certain works and seeking offers for some of the group’s contracts.

“We have retained 12 employees to assist with this process.

“Regrettably, we have had to make 102 employees redundant with immediate effect. We are working with government agencies to ensure all employee issues are dealt with.”

Adrian Mahoney, Bo’ness Labour councillor and the district’s economic strategy and development convener, said: “It is a significant blow to Bo’ness and to the construction-related sector which experienced the closure of Christie Timber back in 2009. Donaldson and McConnell was a key employer in the area and were highly innovative in their field.

“The council and its partners acted as quickly as possible to get information to the workforce concerning the assistance that is available and hope that new opportunities for employment will arise.

‘‘We are also keeping in touch with the administrators regarding any further assistance that can be supplied.”

Bo’ness SNP councillor Ann Ritchie said: “It’s bad news for the local community. It’s more job losses we could do without especially at this time.

“It’s a shame they will have to try at this time to get another job and everyone knows that’s hard because of the recession.”