Housebuilder responds to Scottish economic downturn by axing a fifth of workers

Scottish housebuilder Stewart Milne Group is to axe 289 jobs, a fifth of its staff, as market conditions begin to bite north of the border.

Stewart Milne

The firm said in a trading update that it had begun consultations with staff regarding a reduction in numbers, with almost 200 jobs likely to go in Scotland.

In England, where the downturn has been more prolonged, more than a third of staff will go, with 96 of 260 employees likely to be made redundant.

The firm said it was necessary to “realign their business to meet the current market demands.”

Chief executive Stewart Milne said: “No one in our sector is immune from the downturn. The lack of liquidity and lower consumer confidence has resulted in a decline in sales, and despite our efforts to overcome these challenges, the ongoing market conditions have impacted on us.”

Stewart Milne has recently been expanding into the English housing market from its Scottish base, but the job cuts are likely to mean that that trend is sharply reversed.

The company said it would continue to operate in all of its current geographical areas. It added that its construction division was so far unaffected by the downturn.