Updated: 5th February 2020
An engineering company based near Dumfries in southern Scotland has called in administrators to manage its financial affairs while a new buyer is sought for the business.
Penman Engineering has been operating since the 1850s and employs a total of 140 people at its base in Heathhall on the outskirts of Dumfries.
It remains unclear as yet whether all or any of the company’s workforce will be retained but the maker of specialist armoured vehicles has said it will continue to trade until further notice.
Statements from one of the appointed administrators explained that the intention is to see Penman Engineering sustained as a viable operation while a sale of the business is pursued with the aim being to see as many jobs saved as possible in the coming weeks.
“We have already identified a considerable number of prospective purchasers and will be speaking to them over the next few days to determine their interest,” said Mark Ranson, one of the administrators appointed to the company.
“We understand that many employees will be concerned about their future employment, and will be providing confidential briefings to them as regularly as we are able to during the administration process,” he added.
Ranson went on to say that issues relating to an important contract left the long-established engineering firm without sufficient cash flows to continue operating and without any real option other than to call in administrators.
“The directors of Penman had strived to avoid the necessity of the company going into administration, but the delay in arrival of a major contract provided too big a challenge to the business’ cash flow,” he said.
With its specialist area being in the realms of designing and building armoured vehicles, Penman Engineering has in the past counted the UK government’s Ministry of Defence, the United Nations and NATO among its customers.
Other organisations to have acquired vehicles or associated services from the Scottish firm include various non-governmental organisations, humanitarian groups and international charities.
Several members of the Scottish Parliament have expressed their concerns about Penman Engineering’s entry into administration and called on the relevant stakeholders to work together to ensure that as many jobs as possible are saved at the company. With 77 offices across the UK, you’re never far away from expert and confidential advice.