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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Ayrshire shipyard closing
Cathelco website
Cathelco took over in 1996
The Ailsa-Troon shipyard in Ayrshire is to shut with the loss of nearly 100 jobs.

Its owner, Yorkshire-based Cathelco, says closure is the only option because despite investing 6m the yard has failed to make a profit.

Since taking over in 1996, Cathelco won several significant contracts, including a 20m Ministry of Defence order for 10 landing craft.

The yard will close when work on those craft is completed.

Welder
The yard is completing an MoD order
Ailsa-Troon was celebrating only three months ago when it was included in the shipbuilding intervention fund.

This gave it access to grants which it hoped would make it more competitive.

A taskforce is to be set up to help the workers find new jobs.

Scotland Office Minister Brian Wilson described the closure as "regrettable" but added: "I take some comfort from the fact that Cathelco intends to complete the work on the remaining landing craft at Troon.

"There is now a period during which we can explore further opportunities for the workforce and ways to improve their position."

Shipbuilding has been carried out in Troon for more than 150 years.

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