Administrators reveal financial problems at Dumfries firm

Penman in Dumfries. Credit: ITV Border
  • WATCH - Hannah McNulty's report, including the full interview with administrators Armstrong Watson

Unions and politicians say they are doing all they can to protect 140 jobs at a Dumfries firm, which has entered administration.

Penman Engineering Ltd makes armoured vehicles at its Heathall site.

Administrators Armstrong Watson say they're in talks with several interested buyers, and are confident of striking a deal.

However, they are also in talks with staff at Penman, as some haven't been paid for August, and there is a deficit in the company's pension pot.

The administrators say a large number of external companies who supply Penman are also out of pocket, and that initial indications are that there are around £3 million of unpaid bills.

They say they are attempting to contact all suppliers, and that the best chance for the company's survival, and the payment of that money, is to find a buyer.

ITV Border spoke to one supplier, Kenny Robertson, who has been delivering armoured vehicles for around 25 years.

He says he hasn't been paid for some of his recent work, and is owed around £3,500.

However, he says his sympathies are with the 140 staff employed by the company, whose jobs now hang in the balance.

The Unite Union held a meeting in Dumfries today, and they say their priority is saving as many jobs as possible at Penman.

Their cause is supported by local MP Richard Arkless, who broke away from his planned tour of Galloway to visit the site.