Jon Wardle to head up builder’s South Division

The former boss of collapsed contractor Claritas has found a new job as managing director of JRL Group’s South division.

Jon Wardle announced the move just weeks after his former firm sank owing suppliers and HMRC more than £9m.

He said on LinkedIn: “I am excited to announce that I have joined the JRL Group as MD - South. 


Jon Wardle’s former firm Claritas went under in June

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues, customers, consultants, supply chain and supporting the continued growth of our Integrated Construction Solutions model.”

Claritas, which in its last set of published accounts had a turnover of £50m in the year to March 2022, had 110 staff and 16 live projects when it went under in June.

Liquidator Begbies Traynor said last month the amount owed to creditors was around £9.4m with HMRC owed £1.8m. A logistics firm is owed £668,000, an M&E firm is missing £500,000 while a scaffolding business is owed £300,000.

Bam is understood to be taking over the firm’s £20m refurbishment of an office block near Moorgate.

In a previous LinkedIn post following the collapse, Wardle, who has started at JRL, said he was “truly sorry” for the impact on projects, people and businesses.

“The challenge of cash flowing and managing the losses associated with the inflationary pressures of these uncertain times was just too great,” he said.

He added: “Construction is what I know, what I am passionate about and I hope that I am afforded the opportunity to continue my personal journey in this great industry, and I look forward to working with and or talking about it with you for years to come.”

JRL Group’s most recent accounts revealed profit fell by more than 50% to the lowest level in eight years in 2022.

It posted a pre-tax profit of £13.3m for the 2022 calendar year, just under half the £26.8m reported in 2021, despite sharply rising revenue.

The firm said turnover grew by 25% to £761m, its highest ever. But the pre-tax profit figure was its lowest since it reported a £3.9m return in 2015, and the first time since that year it has fallen below a 2% pre-tax margin.