A Dumfries-based precision machining and fabrication company which had traded for nearly 40 years has fallen into liquidation.

Kellwood Engineering has ceased trading after struggling to recruit skilled staff to a “sustainable level” as it looked to recover from the pandemic, while also being challenged by cheaper competition from overseas.

The business had traded successfully from its base at Catherinefeld Industrial Estate, focusing for many years on machining and metal fabrication and, more recently, as lighting consultants.

READ MORE: Big office deals give Glasgow city centre much-needed hope

Director James Maitland has appointed Donald McKinnon of accountancy firm Wylie & Bisset as provisional liquidator, with 27 jobs lost after the company ceased trading. One member of staff has been retained to assist the liquidator.

Mr Maitland said: “The reduction of work available during Covid required us to cut our workforce and, since then, a shortage of skilled time-served engineers in the area has rendered it difficult to restore employee numbers to a sustainable level.”

Mr McKinnon added: “This is terribly sad to see the demise of another manufacturing business in Scotland with cheaper alternatives being found overseas.

READ MORE: Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum named on prestigious list

“We are currently in discussions with a third party to take on part of the business and save some jobs.”