Scotia Homes warns of job losses

The company says uncertainties presented by Brexit confusion are causing continuing challenges to trading.
The company says uncertainties presented by Brexit confusion are causing continuing challenges to trading.

North East Housebuilder Scotia Homes Limited has confirmed that it is undertaking a review of its business, with the potential for job losses.

The developer, which was responsible for the Collieburn development in Peterhead and has it's Aberdeenshire base in Ellon, said the review which will include consideration of staffing levels and the fast tracking of implementation of enhanced systems to support the delivery of continually improving efficiencies.

The review is as a result of continuing challenges affecting the property market following downturn in Oil and Gas Sector since 2014, and this is being compounded by heightening uncertainties related to Brexit.

In addition, the business says it continues to be affected by delays relating to new sites due to the protracted planning process and issues relating to securing technical consents such as those associated with Scottish Water.

Managing director, Martin Bruce said: “The decision to undertake this review has not been taken lightly and was only decided following very thorough consideration of the impact of improving efficiencies, market conditions and delivery timelines for forthcoming projects.

Despite some promising signs over the summer of a potential recovery to the property market, the uncertainties presented by Brexit confusion are causing continuing challenges to trading, and this is compounded by third party delays affecting new start sites.

"This re-organisation process will be undertaken over the next few months and is likely to result in some redundancies.

"The business is well placed with a strong order book of advanced sales and has an excellent range of house designs available in prime locations.

"Nevertheless, it is important to position the business to ensure long term stability, albeit, meantime going forward at trading levels which are no longer forecasting the same levels of previously planned growth.

"We have built our business and reputation on the quality of our people, and the relationships we enjoy with them. This is a difficult period for all involved and through this process we will be considering all options especially for those directly affected”.

North-east Conservative MSP Tom Mason described the move as a huge blow to the region.

He said: “I’m deeply concerned at these redundancies just weeks before Christmas.

“Scotia Homes is one of the biggest house builders in the north-east and office staff form an integral part of any company.

“Towns such as Ellon rely on the employment of companies such as Scotia and a local firm making cutbacks is a huge blow to the area.

“I will be contacting Scotia to see what actions can be taken to mitigate the decision.”