POLITICAL LEADERS ARE calling for assistance to be provided to employees of Fochabers firm Brown Engineering who have closed with the loss of over 30 jobs.
Described as a “sorry blow” to the Moray economy by local MSP Richard Lochhead, the firm have confirmed they have gone into liquidation with immediate effect.
Douglas Ross MP said that efforts are ongoing to find an alternative buyer for the company, saying: “It is extremely sad to hear that such a well-established firm has closed; particularly a family firm that was founded back in the 1970s and has been built-up to offer large scale employment in this specialised sector.
“I understand engineering has felt the down-turn of the oil and gas industry and this has been a contributory factor, but I am keen to ensure all local agencies work together to provide the necessary support and training to those who have lost their jobs.
“While efforts are made to find a buyer for the company, it’s vital everything that can be done, is done, to find employees new employment in the local area so we don’t lose their skill set.”
Richard Lochhead added: “The liquidation of Brown Engineering is a sorry blow to Moray’s economy with the sad loss of 32 jobs and a 40-year-old firm.
“This is a significant number of job losses, many of which will be highly skilled – and given the massive investment taking place in local infrastructure projects as well as the whisky industry, I do hope opportunities open up for the staff, hopefully in our other local companies that need such skills.
“It goes to show that reputable firms here in Moray can fall victim to the downturn of the oil and gas industry and that the impact of the sector’s performance is felt well beyond the boundaries of Aberdeen.
“My sympathies are with those affected and I will be in communication with Highlands and Islands Enterprise to ensure support is available.”
Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Marc Macrae said he was greatly saddened to learn of the troubles being faced by one of Moray’s leading companies based on the Mosstodloch Industrial Estate.
He said that Brown Engineering had been known for their quality workmanship and reliability, adding: “With increased competition in the distilling and malting industries and the continuing decline in the oil and gas sector, this has clearly had an impact on smaller companies regardless of the quality of the services they provided, it is always difficult to compete financially with the larger suppliers.
“I welcome the commitment of KPMG, the liquidators, to try seek a buyer for the company’s assets and to maximise the recovery of funds for creditors. My thoughts are with those who find themselves out of work.”
Brown Engineering were established in 1978 and manufactured, installed and maintained various plant and machinery for the distilling and malting industries. They Specialised in stainless steel fabrication and welding, pipe work contractors in stainless steel, mild steel, copper and plastic.