A Borders construction company specialising in residential housing has ceased trading after 50 years in business following project delays.

Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden of Interpath Advisory have been appointed joint provisional liquidators to J S Crawford Contracts based in Melrose. Founded in 1946, the company is said to have recently experienced significant financial pressures arising from challenges on a construction contract. 

“It was with great sadness and regret that after 50 years of trading, J.S. Crawford (Contracts) Borders has ceased trading, with the loss of 23 jobs," director Michael Crawford said. "It is something I had been desperately trying to avoid, and had hoped that the company could trade out, but unfortunately, the necessary backing from suppliers and funders was not there.

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“The failure of my business is due in the main to the delay in completion of the West Grove project. Over the past year additional and unsustainable interest charges combined with rampant cost inflation has resulted in a significant loss on the project. The shareholder had been supporting the business, but these efforts were ultimately in vain, and so the only option remaining was to liquidate the company.”

Mr McAlinden said the liquidators' immediate priority is to ensure staff are given full support to submit redundancy claims to the relevant government department.

“It is sad to see this well-established, family-owned business enter into liquidation," he added. "Persistent strong headwinds, including cost inflation, tight margins and labour shortages, are continuing to impact companies across the housebuilding and wider construction industry and unfortunately, in the case of J S Crawford, they were too difficult to overcome.

“The directors had worked hard to explore other options but unfortunately, had no option but to place the company into provisional liquidation. We will endeavour to provide any and all support to those workers impacted by redundancy during this difficult time.”