A major construction firm which employs 277 people across Scotland has gone into administration.
The UBC Group Ltd has offices in Inverness, Glasgow, Dundee, Bathgate, Stornoway and South Uist.
Administrators Zolfo Cooper says the company has gone into administration after suffering "extremely challenging trading conditions".
The business will continue to trade while administrators explore "all possible options" for the future, including sale of all or parts of the company.
The firm, which has traded for around 40 years, also includes Wyvis Building Services Ltd, Wyvis Roofing Ltd and Mardon Project Services Ltd, and has a total turnover of around £31m.
Seumas Pedrana, UGC Group managing director, said: "This is a very sad day for everyone connected to this family business and the communities we have served for the last 40 years.
"The directors have looked at every possible option to avoid administration but it became inevitable because of the general downturn in the building sector and the inability of some companies to pay us."
Elizabeth Mackay, joint administrator said: "Unfortunately, the group has suffered from the widespread downturn impacting the construction industry and as a result has experienced a decline in trading performance.
"The financial position facing the business was such that administration was the last remaining option available to the directors.
"Working with all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers and regional and national governments, our priority now is to stabilise the business and fully assess the financial position such that we can identify the best possible route forward under what are clearly difficult circumstances."
A report on the UBC website from February says the company had a "strong start" to 2012.
It reads: "The evolving market has created increased contract opportunities in the civil engineering, renewables and refurbishment sectors."
The company is working on the high-profile Beauly-Denny power line, the largest ongoing affordable housing contract in the Western Isles, a major new care home on the Isle of Harris and the refurbishment of a listed church in Edinburgh, according to the website.
The company started as a partnership between three brothers on South Uist.
Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, said: "The construction industry has been under severe strain in the current financial climate and it is a matter of real regret that Uist Builders now finds itself in this situation.
"The company had been a local success story and is the livelihood of many people in the islands and beyond.
"I understand that the administrators are now seeking to ensure the best prospects for existing contracts being continued and to find a secure future for the company’s employees. I have contacted HIE and the Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing, asking if they will devote urgent attention to assisting in this difficult situation."
Mr Ewing said: "This will be a difficult time for staff at the construction firm and the Scottish Government will do everything we can to provide support and help those facing redundancy through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) team.
"The Scottish Government has been absolutely clear that it believes investment in infrastructure is a key for driving economic growth. That is why we are increasing capital spending despite Westminster cuts, which is designed to specifically support our building and construction industries and employment in the sector."
People who read this story also read
- Motorcyclist dies after crash which caused 160-mile diversion
- Chef jailed for raping prostitute at house
- Teenager who died after falling from cliff is identified by police
- Contract awarded for £243m ferry services to Scotland's northern isles
- Fresh snow proves popular with 2500 snowsports fans over holiday weekend