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Jobs at risk with UBC administration

Private Scottish building and civil engineering contractor UBC Group was placed into administration yesterday.

The administrators said they continue to trade the family firm “while exploring all possible options for its future including a sale of all or parts of the business”.

The building and civil engineering group has a group turnover of £31m and employs 277 permanent members of staff operating from premises in Inverness, Glasgow, Dundee, Bathgate, Stornoway and South Uist.

It comes after latest figures shows that the Scottish construction industry has seen an 113 per cent rise in firms going bust since March 2009-2010.

Corporate advisory and restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper was appointed to UBC group, which includes UBC Holdings, UBC Group, UBC Homes, Wyvis Building Services, Wyvis Roofing, Mardon Project Services, UBC Central and UBC East.

Joint administrators Elizabeth Mackay, Fraser Gray and Anne O’Keefe took over “after the group experienced cash flow problems due to extremely challenging trading conditions”.

Seumas Pedrana, managing director of the UBC group, said: “This is a very sad day for everyone connected to this family business and the communities we have served for the last 40 years.

“The directors have looked at every possible option to avoid administration but it became inevitable because of the general downturn in the building sector and the inability of some companies to pay us.”

Ms Mackay, lead partner for Zolfo Cooper in Scotland said: “Unfortunately, the group has suffered from the widespread downturn impacting the construction industry and as a result has experienced a decline in trading performance.

“The financial position facing the business was such that administration was the last remaining option available to the directors.

“Working with all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers and regional and national governments, our priority now is to stabilise the business and fully assess the financial position such that we can identify the best possible route forward under what are clearly difficult circumstances.”