Loss-making Shepherd Construction is to axe up to 50 jobs in an attempt to cut costs.

The York-based privately owned contractor this week announced a series of changes following a strategic review.

The company’s three divisions will be organised into two operations, northern and southern.

Shepherd’s Northampton and Nottingham offices will close with the loss of about 25 jobs, and another 25 positions are expected to go from across the 1000-strong company.

A Shepherd spokesman said the jobs would go from among administrative and clerical staff.

The exact number is not yet known as Shepherd is trying to find new jobs within the business for the 50 staff affected.

A spokesman said Shepherd would still work on a national basis, and its regional coverage would be unaffected by the changes.

He said: “The market hasn’t been easy at any time over the past few years. We simply have to do our best to keep a lean organisation like anybody else.

“We are trying to cut costs wherever we can as long as it doesn’t affect the efficiency of the business. We believe the two new divisions will sharpen the business.” Shepherd Construction, part of family owned Shepherd Group, made a £962 000 loss on ordinary activities in the year to 30 June 1998.

The announcement comes in the same week as the departure of London and South-east regional manager Stuart McConnachie, Shepherd’s third executive to leave since January.