Published: 8th January 2016
More than 100 jobs have gone in the wake of an historic Scottish knitwear company entering administration in recent days.
Hawick Knitwear’s heritage as a textile manufacturing operation dates back to the 19th century but persistent financial problems have left its current bosses with no choice but to call in administrators.
There were 179 members of the Hawick Knitwear workforce when the company was entered into administration with the decision taken almost immediately to make 123 of them redundant.
Just 56 members of staff have therefore been retained by administrators as new ownership is sought for the business and its assets.
A statement from KPMG, which has been appointed as administrators of the company, explained that attempts were made in recent months to find new investment for the business with a view to developing the Hawick Knitwear brand.
Unfortunately, a lack of working capital left the company unable to continue funding its operations in the Scottish Borders town of Hawick where it has been based since 1874.
Part of the problem for the company is understood to have been a lack of demand for its thick jumpers around the UK during what have been relatively warm winters over the past several years.
“Extremely difficult market conditions have led to the current position,” said Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland.
“It is regrettable that a high level of redundancies has been necessary at this stage and we will be working with employees and the relevant government agencies to ensure that the full range of support is available to those who are affected.
“In the meantime, we would encourage any party who has an interest in the company’s business and assets to contact us as soon as possible.”
John Lamont, a member of the Scottish parliament for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, has described the news of Hawick Knitwear’s entry into administration as “devastating news”.
“My thoughts are with all those facing redundancy,” he told the BBC.
The popular Scottish knitwear company has been struggling to establish a stable financial position for much of the past decade, with a series of job cuts announced in 2008 and 2009, and a management buyout being conducted in 2010. Our extensive office network comprises 78 offices across the UK with a partner-led service offering immediate director advice and support.