Civil engineer Les Taylor collapses with 160 job losses

Grant Prior 12 years ago

One of Scotland’s largest private civil engineering contractors has collapsed with the loss of 160 jobs.

Peterhead based Les Taylor Contractors has gone into receivership, alongside sister demolition company J.G. Fowlie.

The firms were the two main divisions of the Les Taylor Group and employed 192 staff between them – and 164 were told yesterday they were being made redundant.

A statement from accountants Ernst and Young confirmed: “Colin Dempster and Andrew Davison of Ernst and Young have been appointed joint receivers to Mintlaw-based civil engineering and quarry firm Les Taylor Contractors Ltd.

“Mr Dempster and Mr Davison have also been appointed receivers to J.G. Fowlie (Contractors) Ltd. The companies have faced increasing difficulties relating to the decline in demand for building services in Scotland.

“Employees met with the receivers this afternoon, when they were regretfully informed that the majority had lost their jobs.”

Dempster said: “The decline of the businesses was such that we had no option other than to make these unfortunate job cuts.

“Some staff have been retained to assist with securing and in gathering assets. We are now focused on realising assets on behalf of the companies’ creditors.”

Two remaining principal divisions of the Les Taylor Group – Grampian Building Contractors and Mintlaw Transport, a haulage and animal feed storage business – will continue to trade at the moment.

The company made pre-tax losses of £5.7m in 2009 against profits of £4m a year earlier. Turnover was £27.6m in 2009, down from £32.5m in 2008.

Bosses at the firm had warned of redundancies in December, with workers being told the firm needed to shed a minimum of 20 jobs in the new year.

It employed 155 of 192 staff, with the remaining 37 people working at demolition specialist J.G. Fowlie.

The receivership comes just a year after group founder and managing director Les Taylor died at the age of 57 after suffering an aneurysm. The entrepreneur, of Windyneuk, New Leeds, set up his company in the 1970s and it became one of Aberdeenshire’s most successful business groups.

Les Taylor Group is also the main sponsor of Peterhead Football Club, and club chairman Rodger Morrison said last night he was waiting to get a full briefing on the situation before commenting.

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