Piling specialist confirms 300 job losses since 2008

One of the UK’s largest specialists, Roger Bullivant, has confirmed it has been severely hit by the recession with turnover falling by half since 2008.

The piling specialist added it has cut its staff by 300 during the three year period.

The firm made the admission in a statement to the Burton Mail, after it emerged the company was no longer able to meet its financial commitments on a 2,200 home scheme in the East Midlands at Drakelow Park.

Bullivantt said it was looking for new investors to back the plans, which were drawn up with power giant E-On.

The firm said: “The UK construction industry has experienced over the last three years a period of rapid decline affecting almost every element of the industry.

“As a main sub-contractor within the housing and commercial market Roger Bullivant Ltd has seen the extent to which their core business has been hit.

“Their current turnover now reflects some 50% of the pre-2008 turnover.

“This linked with reduced margins has created a market place which has been very difficult to compete in.

“The business had to make the difficult decision of releasing some 300 staff over this period, reducing the workforce in the UK to some 850 people, 400 of which currently work at, or from, the South Derbyshire head quarters.

“The industry has not seen a dramatic increase in sales during 2011 and there is currently little prospect of a better 2012.”

Bullivant has spent more than £6m on the Drakelow Park scheme.

The firm added: “This level of exposure has created a major problem to the core business and without the passion and backing of its founding chairman the company could have also become the victim of the worldwide recession.

“It is imperative that the Drakelow Park project attracts the level of funding required to cover the costs of the major infrastructure for this iconic development in the early years.

“The core business can no longer afford to subsidise the ongoing project and it must stand on its own merits as the security of the 400 jobs in South Derbyshire rely upon this happening.

“It is therefore necessary to make this scheme as attractive as possible to outside investment for the benefit of South Derbyshire.

“Hopefully in future years the core business will return to its former size and stature. However, the immediate job in hand is to secure the position of the business in the short to medium term.”