Construction firm files notice to appoint administrator

Belong Birkdale

Warrington-based construction group Cruden has filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to appoint an administrator.

The move is intended to protect the firm from legal action by creditors while talks over its finances continue.

Construction industry credit reference agency, Top Service, says the NOI was filed last Friday.

The latest accounts filed at Companies House by Cruden, for the year to September 2018, showed an increase in revenues, from £32.611m to £38.331m, but pre-tax losses deepened, from £18,157 in 2017, to £588,427 for 2018.

The directors’ report said: “There have been setbacks and difficulties in delivering the turnaround of the business which we set out on achieving three years ago, but the business is now on a secure financial platform going forward.”

It said the business had cut administrative costs by 10%, mainly through reducing the headcount, but the report revealed the company had “one problem contract which had a very material adverse impact on the results in the period”.

Trade publication Construction Enquirer quoted social media posts from several Cruden employees including one that said: “Friday was a very sad day for myself and all of my work colleagues who are part of the Cruden family.”

Another said: “A number of companies will be getting some excellent people that’s for sure. It’s a hard pill to swallow but I’m confident that everyone will get fixed up over sooner rather than later.”

North West care home provider Belong will be particularly badly affected by any problems at Cruden.

Last month Belong appointed Cruden to complete work on its £19m state-of-the-art care village in Birkdale – taking over from original contractor Pochin which had been working on the Oxford Road development when it went into administration last year.

Work had also recommenced on another Belong village in Chester and more than 200 jobs were expected to be created when the Birkdale and Chester sites were planned to open next year.

Belong’s chief finance officer, Chris Hughes, told today: “Although we have not yet received any formal notification regarding Cruden Construction going into administration, we are expecting an announcement in due course.”

Cruden has been contacted for comment.