Fifty-six jobs lost as Yorkshire builder hit by public spending cuts

Leeds-based contractor Irwins has collapsed with the loss of 56 jobs after falling victim to the government’s spending cuts.

The company, which relied heavily public sector contracts in education and healthcare, appointed KPMG as administrators last week.

Mark Firmin, KPMG restructuring partner and joint administrator, said: “Irwins suffered a significant drop in turnover over recent months as a large proportion of its work related to public sector projects. Given the limited order book of the business, a sale was not a viable option and the company has had to be closed.”

A number of Irwins’ schemes, including work at some schools and a hospital, remain uncompleted.

The firm was also working on a £3m refurbishment of the National Trust’s Nostell Priory, which also remains unfinished.

Clients have been advised to look for an alternative contractor to complete projects. Those that have paid money to Irwins will become creditors.

Firmin added: “The public sector’s austerity agenda is already being felt by construction businesses and the impact will deepen as the purse strings tighten.

“Many projects put on hold around the election in May have now been released for completion, keeping some construction companies busy delivering work already tendered. However, the flow of new tenders is significantly lower than the levels seen even over the past couple of years, so in time, work will decline, seriously straining cash flow at a number of businesses in this capital spend reliant industry.”


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