Further jobs blow in Hawick with collapse of John Rae

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A Hawick firm has folded after nearly four decades of trading, with the reported loss of 33 jobs.

Builders John Rae Ltd, owned by London-based businessman David Meddings, has entered voluntary liquidation amid spiralling debt.

Accounts for the year ended September 30, 2017, reveal debts doubled from £326,000 in 2016 to £666,000 last year.

Creditors’ amounts falling due within one year – the amounts owed repayable over the longer term – rose from £541,000 to £914,000 during the same period.

The Bourtree Place firm, founded by John and Elizabeth Rae in 1980, started as a small building and refurbishment company, later branching out into energy efficient heating installation. At its peak it employed 80 people.

A meeting of creditors is due to take place next Thursday in Hamilton.

The news comes as a further blow to the town, following last month’s announcement that Homebase will close its Galalaw store, which employs 27 people, in December.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman said: “We extend our sympathies to the staff of John Rae Ltd and their families at this difficult time.

“We worked with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to set up a Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) event for the employees on Wednesday at the Borders College campus.

“The event was well attended, with representatives from Unite the Union, Citizens Advice Bureau, Pension Wise, Job Centre, SDS, Business Gateway, Borders College and relevant council services in attendance to offer support. A number of apprentices were also offered support through the Adopt an Apprentice programme.”

Skills Development Scotland is also arranging an internal PACE event for staff from Homebase in Hawick on Tuesday, October 2.

The spokesman added: “PACE events provide skills development and employability support and help those affected to get back to work as quickly as possible. We would encourage any Homebase employees to take advantage of this help and support.”