Real Contracting Group went under just two years after being set up

A partnerships housing firm created two years ago by the former boss of residential at Wates has gone into liquidation owing more than £8m.

Paul Nicholls founded Real Contracting Group in 2021 from the South-west and South-east divisions of contractor Rydon and had aimed to grow the firm to be a £300m-a-year turnover builder within five years. 

But the firm went into liquidation earlier this month and a liquidator’s report said the business owed £8.5m at the time of its appointment last week.

Paul Nicholls Rydon Real

Paul Nicholls, founder of Real Contracting Group

The firm owed £8.4m to Rydon Regeneration and close to £114,000 to a recruitment business.

Subsidiary Real SW, which covered the South-west market and which went into liquidation earlier this month, was owed £30,000. A liquidator’s report for this business shows it owed £17.4m.

No explanation in either report is given for why the firms sank.

Real Contracting Group liquidator Cowgills has also been appointed to oversee the administration of Real LSE, the other regional subsidiary of the business.

Real LSE, which covered London and the South East, was the smaller but more profitable of the subsidiaries, posting £1.46m profit on £19.3m income in its results for the year to February 2022.