Woes of Gateshead contractor signal a downturn in north east market

North east contractor Barton Civil Engineering has been placed in administration signalling a downward trend for construction in the region.

The groundworks firm worked for several local authorities and NHS Trusts in the region.

David Willis of Stockton-on-Tees firm, BWC Business Solutions, is handling the administration.

The collapse of Barton comes as the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) predicted a tough year ahead for the north east’s already hard-hit construction firms.

Douglas Kell, director of the north east division of CECA, said his organisation’s research indicates the region as the UK’s hardest hit, along with Wales - and called for more government support.

“It’s a trend that regrettably looks like continuing during 2011. The government purported support for SMEs and promotion of growth in the local economy. This has not yet materialized.”

Michael Henning, North east spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said, “The acute shortage of new construction work in the region is seriously impacting across the sector.

“Costs of running a business are rising, while a cut-throat market is driving down fees and profit margins.”