Dumfries armoured vehicle firm Penman Engineering crashes for second time

Dumfries armoured vehicle manufacturer Penman Engineering went into administration today with the immediate loss of 44 of its 61 staff.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 6:49 pm
One of the firm's Hotspur Hussar armoured personnel carriers. Picture: Stanley Hunter
One of the firm's Hotspur Hussar armoured personnel carriers. Picture: Stanley Hunter

The 161-year-old company company’s collapse because of cash flow problems comes two years after it was rescued from administration by Martin Williams (Hull).

The remaining 17 staff are being retained to assist the administration process.

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Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring at KPMG, which is acting as administrators, said: “Penman Engineering has a long heritage of producing highly specialised armoured vehicles.

“The company’s experienced, knowledgeable team has worked tirelessly to find long-term sustainable solutions, but – regrettably – cashflow challenges have left the owners with no other choice but administration.

“Our focus will be on assessing what options are available for the business and ensuring clients and impacted staff members are fully supported throughout this difficult process."

The company was pulled back from the brink following its sale to Martin Williams being announced in November 2016.

Director Nick Williams said at the time: "Our aim is to get the company back into operation as soon as we can and we are looking to re-employ as many of the previous workforce as possible."

Scottish Labour rural economy spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “This is a devastating blow for the Penman workforce, many of whom were laid off the last time the firm went into administration.

“It is vital the Scottish Government through Scottish Enterprise and [Dumfries and Galloway] council’s economic development team respond by doing what they can to work with administrators to find a new buyer.

“This happened in 2016, and while sadly the current owners failed to deliver on their promises, if the firm is not bought I have no doubt Penman, and the jobs they provide, will disappear from Dumfries for good having been based in the town since 1859.”