Balmoral Knitwear has announced that it is going into provisional liquidation and is closing its manufacturing operation in Ayrshire, Scotland with the loss of 43 jobs.

Paul Dounis and Steven Ross of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP have been appointed as provisional liquidators. They have cited increased competition from low cost garments manufactured offshore, the rising costs of materials and devaluation of the pound as the reasons for the 123-year old company’s closure.

In a statement, RSM said: “Despite concerted efforts to find a buyer or investor to rescue the business, the management were left with no alternative than to place the company into provisional liquidation.

“It is with profound regret that employees of this historic business have been made redundant with immediate effect.

“The need for organisations to reduce costs and seek the lowest possible price for goods, often from overseas, has led to another blow for the Scottish knitwear industry. The Balmoral name is well known in the sector and we would ask any parties with an interest in acquiring the business to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

All creditors will be formally written to in due course.

Mike Carden and Ian Pollard of Rannerdale Ltd have looked after Balmoral’s sales of schoolwear, corporatewear, retail, promotional and sportswear for many years and are not directly affected by the liquidation and closure of the factory in Ayrshire.

In a statement, Mike Carden said, “We are now well underway with setting up alternative arrangements for our customers.

“We have arranged that many of the same stock styles made by Balmoral Knitwear will in future be available from Charles Kirk & Company. These would be the same yarns and the same shades.

“We have also been responsible for supplying through Balmoral a huge number of bespoke styles of knitwear for schoolwear, corporatewear, promotions, cricket and retail. We therefore also have plans in place for the bespoke styles, and will be in contact with each of our customers with a view to a seamless transfer, if that can be done.

“We would very much like to thank everyone who has contacted us so far with their best wishes.”

Charles Kirk & Company stated: “Charles Kirk was sorry to hear of the provisional liquidation of a fellow supplier in the school knitwear and corporate workwear markets and hope all the staff will soon find alternative employment. Whilst economic conditions are not easy at the moment with increases in input prices due to volatile exchange markets, Charles Kirk is experienced in both the schoolwear and corporatewear markets and can offer a similar bespoke service, as previously offered by Balmoral Knitwear.”

The company provides a range of clothing from bespoke knitwear and sweatshirts, to personalised clothing from brands including Russell Europe and Result. It manufactures knitwear and sweatshirts in Sussex and also has partners overseas for larger orders and competitive pricing. All garments can be customised using its in-house embroidery and printing facilities with options for off-shore production where required.

Charles Kirk & Company continued: “Mike Carden and Ian Pollard, directors of Rannerdale, have a thorough knowledge of the schoolwear and corporatewear markets and we are delighted that they will be helping our customers both old and new through a difficult period.”