A LARGS care home has been forced to close its doors after failing to find a buyer - leaving over 20 people out of work.

Auchinlea announced it is to permanently shut after owners Bertinaley Care Limited ran into financial difficulty.

The official closure has now been announced, four months after the company entered into administration.

The 10 residents left in the Scott Street care home are now to be moved to alternative accommodation.

A total 21 members of staff are believed to have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.

Spiralling running costs and a fall in the number of residents in recent years are believed to be responsible for the company going under.

A spokesman for FRP Advisory, the administrators of Bertinaley Care Limited, said: "We can confirm that as a result of severe financial difficulties, Auchinlea Care Home has closed and unfortunately all 21 staff have been made redundant.

"During the closure period the joint administrators are working very closely with North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership to minimise disruption to the remaining 10 residents and their families.

"We also worked closely with all relevant agencies, including the Redundancy Payments Office, to ensure the employees received as much support as possible.

“FRP Advisory continued to trade Auchinlea Care Home for over four months and had appointed a care home operator to manage the premises.

"However, a buyer was not forthcoming and as the financial position was unsustainable, we very much regret that closure was the only option."

This is only one of the company's care homes with their Dundee branch closing last year and a remaining two care homes in Hamilton and Surrey.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Administrators for Bertinaley Care Limited advised us of their intention to close Auchinlea.

“The closure means that all residents living within the facility will be required to move.

"We have notified residents, families and carers of this situation and will discuss new care home placements with them to ensure people’s wishes are fully considered and fulfilled, where possible.

“We have allocated a team of staff whose aim is to ensure resident’s transition to their new home is as smooth, calm and straightforward as possible.

"The team will be working with residents and their families and carers to ensure they are safe and cared for appropriately during this time.

“Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of the residents in Auchinlea Care Home.

"Every effort will be made to support residents, families and carers during this difficult and unsettling time."

This is the second care home to close in two months in North Ayrshire, putting pressure on social care to find homes for elderly residents quickly.

Largs councillor Alex Gallagher said: "There is no doubt that a lack of care facilities in the area is a big problem for us.

"There has already been the closure of a home in Saltcoats which has had a knock on effect and a queue for getting people in to care.

"The services are exacerbated but people need to be homed.

"It is a bit of a crisis really but I know that health and social care have a team working hard to get people rehomed as quickly as possible."