One of Scotland's oldest family-owned businesses has fallen into administration with the loss of nearly 100 jobs.

Founded in 1976, the Wishaw-based and family-owned Weir & McQuiston (Scotland) Limited provided mechanical and electrical design services, installation, maintenance, testing and consultancy services for the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.

Projects included city centre offices, health boards, local authorities, private companies, community projects, churches, hotels, retail and sports centres. Now Blair Milne and James Fennessey, partners with Azets, have been appointed joint administrators of the business which reported a £2m loss for 2020.

The administrators said: "The administration was caused by unsustainable cash flow problems stemming from wafer thin margins in the construction sector, the cessation of construction activity and the widely reported problems with labour and materials shortages."

The administrators say the business, which was trading as WMQ Building Services  had expanded rapidly in recent years and diversified into new markets, including the supply of consultancy and services for the fast-growing renewables sector.

Staffing peaked at over 200 in 2019, and Weir & McQuiston was firmly established as one of Scotland’s leading M&E contractors, it said.

The business was also well-known for its leading apprenticeship recruitment and training programme.

The administrators said business had ceased trading with immediate effect with 93 employees made redundant.

The joint administrators said they will market the assets for sale including work in progress and plant and equipment, and are encouraging interested parties to make contact as soon as possible. They said they will also focus on working closely with the Redundancy Payments Office and PACE to minimise the impact on staff affected by the closure.

Blair Milne, joint administrator and Head of Restructuring with Azets said: “Weir & McQuiston was one of Scotland’s leading mechanical and electrical contracting firms with a quality client base and an excellent reputation across the construction industry. The directors did everything possible to keep the business trading, however the scale of cash flow problems and the impact of the lockdown left them with no alternative other than to cease trading and place the company into administration. We will now focus on realising as much value from the assets as possible for the creditors and would ask interested parties to contact our Glasgow office as soon as possible.”

Director Gordon McArthur who announced the loss in August believed then that actions taken would "position the business, staff and clients in a stronger position for the future".

He said: "Having successfully traded for over 44 years, the accounts for the year ended May 31, 2020 are disappointing to all stakeholders in the business."

He said many many factors had contributed to the "significant loss" including a "rapid fall in turnover, Covid pandemic, weakness in key appointments and (lack of) profitablity on key contracts delivered over an 18-month period".

He added in an August commentary: "Management have taken strong actions to return the company to its historical financial strength."