A popular Fife bakery has ceased trading with the loss of 60 jobs.
William McMillan Limited, which trades as Carlton Bakeries based in Dysart and had 10 retail shops across Fife, has blamed the coronavirus crisis for forcing it into liquidation.
It’s understood staff were informed by letter on Wednesday.
The company said the coronavirus restrictions had made its financial position unsustainable.
Managing director Graeme Simpson said the company had suffered financially in recent times and had tried to implement a restructuring plan in a bid to reverse its fortunes, but it had been left with no alternative but to close the business permanently.
“William McMillan is a long-standing Fife-based family business with a proud tradition and long history, ” said Mr Simpson.
“We have been fortunate to have a very loyal hard-working staff, many of whom have been with the business for a good number of years.
“We are all deeply disappointed that the business has been adversely affected by the coronavirus restrictions which has made the financial position unsustainable.
“Steps are being taken to place the company inliquidation and this is expected to be finalised in the coming days.
“We will work closely with the liquidators when they are appointed in due course to ensure every possible assistance is provided to the staff during this difficult time.”
Kirkcaldy Councillor Neil Crooks, convener of the town’s area committee said the news was a huge blow for the workforce and local communities.
“It’s very sad news to hear a company, which has been at the heart of many communities for decades should find itself in this position,” he said.
“My thoughts are with all of those affected by this and I will now seek urgent engagement with Fife Council’s economic resilience team to see how we can best support staff and the business going forward.
“I do hope that some sort of solution or saviour can be found for part, if not all of the firm and I will do all I can to see what can be achieved.
“Everybody will have a connection with such an established local company such as Carlton and that makes the news particularly sad considering the difficult times we current live in.”
The firm had been a mainstay on Fife high streets since it was founded in 1942 with some of its shop also having adjoining coffee shops.
Stores in Glenrothes, Leven, Markinch and Kirkcaldy are among those that have now been closed permanently.