Insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor predicts “serious problems” for construction in 2010

Nick Hood, a partner at the firm, said: “The commercial property sector has major issues, highlighted by the recent collapses of Kilmartin and Thornfield Ventures. There are signs of cracks in the residential market’s recovery, and real concerns about what will happen as Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Time to Pay scheme is unwound, given that construction firms have been among its heaviest users. Prospects look no better than poor.”

Illustrating the gloom, Merseyside contractor White Building Services became the recession’s latest victim last week. The £28m-turnover firm entered administration after 50 years of trading. Administrator BDO said it had made 181 staff redundant.

Tracey Pye, business restructuring partner at BDO, said: “We’re in talks with interested parties in an attempt to sell the business.”

White had been involved in a number of projects in the North-west, including a £60m housing development in Greater Manchester, and a £2m project at the Salford Royal Hospital.