Contractor building LFC’s £80m Anfield Road stand extension ceases trading

Anfield Road extension

The contractor building Liverpool FC’s expanded Anfield Road stand has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, and ceased trading.

The club said the news will not impact this Saturday’s first home game of the season, against Bournemouth, and it will work with Stowe-based Bucking Group Contractors towards the phased opening of the stand.

Liverpool had hoped to open the stand fully in time for its first home fixture, but main contractor Buckingham Group recently revealed that only the lower tier will be ready for the fixture, and the new development will probably undergo a phased opening at subsequent home games, with completion by October.

A Liverpool FC statement said: “Buckingham Group has made us aware that it has filed for a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

“This filing does not impact the planned opening of the new Anfield Road Stand’s lower tier on Saturday for the match against AFC Bournemouth.

“Following the successful test events earlier this week, Liverpool City Council’s building control team issued a safety certificate to operate the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand and we look forward to welcoming supporters to Anfield for our first Premier League home game of the season.

“We will work with Buckingham Group on the planned phased opening of the remainder of the new stand and will continue to keep supporters updated on arrangements for future games.

“Our intention is to update all supporters who have a ticket for the Aston Villa match at the earliest opportunity.”

The Reds are due to play Villa on Sunday, September 3.

Buckingham Group confirmed this morning that it had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

It has now updated markets and customers, saying it has ceased trading with immediate effect.

In a statement it said: “It is with immeasurable regret that the Buckingham board has to announce that rapidly escalating contract losses and a sharp reduction in liquidity, together mean the company is unable to continue trading at this current time.

“We know that this will come as a shock to all our valued stakeholders.”

In an explanation of its position it said: “Very strong delivery and commercial performance across most of the business has been outweighed by deep losses and interim cash deficits incurred on the three major stadium and arena contracts, and a substantial earthworks contract in Coventry.

“This situation on these four long term major projects developed through a combination of unexpected impacts such as the extreme inflation linked to the Ukraine conflict and other challenges in the sports and leisure division.

“Over several months and right up to this week, the board has worked with specialist advisors to seek to bring substantial new investment into the business that would have enabled the company to continue trading as a going concern without interruption. However, this initiative has ultimately met without success.”

The statement added: “As a result of the recent challenges, the board has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators to protect the business whilst we explore a sale of all, or part, of the business in a very short period (days/weeks).

“We will be liaising with clients and interested parties to optimise any solution and secure the best outcome for creditors.

“We emphasise the company is currently not in administration. Our main aim at present is to seek to protect jobs, and to preserve as much of the business as possible.”

The group was also involved in new stand facilities at Fulham FC and is currently working with Birmingham City FC on stand redevelpoments.

Other contracts include:

£13m warehouse for Panattoni in Tamworth; UK Battery Industrialisation Centre for Coventry and Warwickshire Development Partnership; £7.5m industrial unit at Perry Bar, Birmingham; £17.6m warehouse at Port Salford; £9m shopping centre scheme in Stratford; £30m logistics facility in Doncaster; £26.9m logistics scheme in Daventry; £40m road scheme in Coventry; £3.1m road scheme in Wakefield; £9.9m road scheme in Cheshire, Ince Marshes; £17.2m Wakefield Eastern relief road; £15m Western Gateway road scheme, Salford; £9m Kegworth by-pass bridge; £40m Gloucester Gateway motorway services area.