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Macduff takes on Buckie Shipyard assets

MACDUFF Shipyards Group has bought the assets of Buckie Shipyard from administrators for an undisclosed sum.

The business in the Moray Firth had slipped into insolvency in August with more than 70 jobs being lost.

While Macduff Shipyards made no commitment over renewing employment there were signals the ship building tradition in Buckie which goes back more than 110 years will be extended.

As well as the main fabrication site Macduff Shipyards bought several other pieces of plant and machinery and has also had a lease for a launching ramp assigned to it.

John Watt, managing director, said: "Macduff Shipyards remains very busy and we continue to develop as a business. This facility will enable greater flexibility in our continued diversification."

Recent customers at Buckie Shipyard were said to have included the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Ministry of Defence, Orkney Ferries and Harbours, Scottish Sea Farms and Talisman Oil.

In spite of diversifying into the offshore wind industry the business failed because of severe cash flow problems caused by unsustainable costs, contracting demand and cheaper pricing from competitors.

The move by Macduff Shipyards was welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

David Oxley, area manager for Moray at the agency, said: "Following the sudden and unexpected blow when Buckie Shipyard was forced into administration, we have worked closely with our colleagues in the Moray Economic Partnership to support the town in an uncertain time."

The sale is the first by FRP Advisory's new Scottish operation which is made up of 28 former staff of failed accountancy firm RSM Tenon and run from offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Iain Fraser, partner at FRP Advisory and joint administrator of Buckie Shipyard, said: "We are delighted Macduff Shipyards Group has acquired the main assets and is planning to recommence works on this historic site."

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