A family-owned mechanical and electrical contracting business from Lanarkshire has collapsed less than a year after it was praised by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland Administration

Weir & Quiston (Scotland) is now in administration and some 93 employees have been made redundant. The business, based in Wishaw, was established in 1976 and provided services in mechanical and electrical design, installation, maintenance, testing, and consultancy services for commercial industrial, and residential clients. Projects had been completed for the public and private sectors, including health boards, community projects, hotels, retailers, and sports centres.

Weir & McQuiston had expanded in recent years and gained new clients in the renewables sector, In 2019, the company had over 200 employees and had developed a strong reputation for its apprenticeship programme. However, in 2020, the business reported a £2 million loss.

It is understood that plant and equipment is now being offered for sale as well as attempts being made to find possible buyers.

A number of reasons are being given for the company’s failure, including the pandemic and resultant cash flow problems, work shortages and narrow margins within the construction sector. There was further pressure caused by labour shortages and supply chain issues that led to difficulty in obtaining materials.

Despite this, in December 2020, the business featured in a London Stock Exchange report, which was backed by Nicola Sturgeon and John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister. This showcased 1,000 businesses that were said to be exemplary in their ability to deal with the challenges caused by Covid-19 and were identified as being particularly dynamic and fast-growing. Nicola Sturgeon, writing in support of the report, added she was “especially pleased” to see a chapter on Scottish businesses.