A “WELL-ESTABLISHED, family-owned” Scottish construction firm has ceased trading after 50 years in business.

All 23 jobs at J S Crawford Contracts, based in Melrose in the Scottish Borders, have been lost.

Administrators said staff will be supported in submitting redundancy claims.

Management pointed to rising interest rates and "rampant" inflationary pressures as key reasons for the collapse.

Joint administrators from Interpath Advisory were appointed on February 7.

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J S Crawford Contracts was incorporated in 1976, according to Companies House.

Michael Crawford, the director of J S Crawford, said: “It was with great sadness and regret that after 50 years of trading, J S Crawford (Contracts) Borders has ceased trading, with the loss of 23 jobs.

“It is something I had been desperately trying to avoid, and had hoped that the company could trade out, but unfortunately, the necessary backing from suppliers and funders was not there.

“The failure of my business is due in the main to the delay in completion of the West Grove project.

“Over the past year, additional and unsustainable interest charges combined with rampant cost inflation has resulted in a significant loss on the project.

“The shareholder had been supporting the business, but these efforts were ultimately in vain, and so the only option remaining was to liquidate the company.”

Alistair McAlinden, head of Interpath Advisory in Scotland and joint provisional liquidator, said: “It is sad to see this well-established, family-owned business enter into liquidation.

“Persistent strong headwinds, including cost inflation, tight margins and labour shortages, are continuing to impact companies across the housebuilding and wider construction industry and unfortunately, in the case of J S Crawford, they were too difficult to overcome.

“The directors had worked hard to explore other options but unfortunately, had no option but to place the Company into provisional liquidation.

“We will endeavour to provide any and all support to those workers impacted by redundancy during this difficult time.”