Stewart Milne Group Limited fell into administration yesterday, a blow which has seen the loss of more than 200 jobs and put hundreds more in the supply chain at huge risk
Stewart Milne Group Limited, which also runs small companies across Scotland and northwest England, has ceased trading with immediate effect, leaving building sites unfinished. Customers had reserved homes but administrators say it is not yet clear whether the sales will still go through, or how many new homebuyers could be affected.
A buyer could not be found for Stewart Milne Group Limited, and so more than 200 people have lost their jobs and hundreds more in the supply chain are now at risk. Administrators Teneo said the “downturn in the UK housing market” had impacted the business.
Adele MacLeod, of Teneo, said: “The downturn in the UK housing market combined with an extensive sales process not resulting in any viable offers has ultimately led to the need to place Stewart Milne Group and some of its subsidiaries into administration. We continue to assess all the options in respect of the Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch. We continue to assess all the options in respect of the group’s Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch.”
Former chairman Stewart Milne, 73, attempted to sell the firm in 2022 so that he could retire. The entrepreneur, from Alford, Aberdeenshire, had started the firm in 1975, and enjoyed decades of success. However, rising interest rates, the spiralling cost of construction materials and a reduction in consumer confidence have all hit the firm hard.
And, as the business has around 35 active sale sites across northeast and central Scotland as well as the northwest of England, there is concern for families desperate to get on the property ladder. An MP for Aberdeen South said, though, the priority must be staff at this stage.
In a statement, former electrician Mr Milne said: “I am devastated by this totally unexpected outcome. Stewart Milne Group was up for sale and two bids were submitted. The bank has not accepted either bid and withdrawn its funding.
“I tried everything I could to find a way to achieve a better outcome for the business and the people who depend on it. I believe one of the bids could have delivered a comparable, financial return to administration and, crucially, allowed the business to continue to operate, safe-guarding hundreds of jobs and protecting livelihoods.’
Stephen Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South and the leader of the SNP at Westminster said: “Devastating news for all involved with the company. Vitally important that all staff are given immediate support and was in touch with Scottish Government colleagues earlier. Many questions will be posed, and require answering, but workers must be the priority.”