171 jobs in jeopardy as leading engineering firm ceases trading

Structural and architectural metalwork business McGrath Brothers Group has served notice that it intends to appoint administrators, blaming adverse trading conditions and the impact of legacy contracts.

The Northern Ireland-based firm - which worked on projects including the Media Centre at Lords Cricket Ground, the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, and the redevelopment of the capital’s Blackfriars Station – is understood to have ceased trading on Friday last week.

McGrath Group employed 151 people at its main base in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and around 20 at sites in London and the West Midlands.

In a statement issued to local media in Northern Ireland, joint managing director Brian McGrath said “all possible options” to keep the business in operation had been explored, without success.

“Trading conditions in the manufacturing and construction sectors have had a severe impact on our business,” he said.

“Legacy contracts taken on during the recession have also taken their toll on main contractors and specialist sub-contractors alike, all linking to underpayments of completed works and disputed final accounts.”

McGrath said he hoped as many jobs as possible would be saved once administrators were appointed for the business.

No-one was answering calls at McGrath’s Lisburn and London bases on Monday. However, Building understands that insolvency practitioner David McClean is likely to be appointed as administrator for the business later this week.

McClean acted as administrator for the firm during a spell of financial difficulty in 2011.