Update on collapsed contractor says amount includes ‘significant claims from sureties’

Administrators of collapsed contractor Buckingham have said the amount owed to its supply chain has rocketed to more than £250m.

The firm, which had been targeting a £700m turnover in 2023, collapsed last September with nearly 500 jobs lost.

The following month, Grant Thornton had initially said the amount owed to the supply chain was just over £108m but in an update filed at Companies House yesterday the firm said this had climbed to £256m.


Buckingham was set up in 1987 and has been targeting a £700m turnover last year

It said it had received 1,375 claims which it said “includes significant claims from sureties”.

Grant Thornton’s update added: “During the period [4 September to 3 March this year] we completed a report for surety providers to support their understanding of the status of bonded contracts and minimise claims against the estate.”

The report said HMRC, listed as a secondary preferential creditor, had submitted a claim of £34m, more than £31m of which was for unpaid VAT.

Grant Thornton has told the taxman it expects to make a payment but added it did not know how much at this stage.

Secured creditor HSBC, owed £38,000 on a credit card balance, has been repaid while employees are owed £1.3m.

Unsecured creditors, which include nearly 20 trade creditors owed more than £1m each, have been told there is a chance they will get some money back. But Grant Thornton said this “will depend upon the recovery of certain claims and debtor realisations”.

At the time of its collapse Buckingham, which in its last set of accounts had a turnover of £665m in the year to December 2021, had just £4.98m in its current account with HSBC.