Materials firm cites ailing housebuilding market but says some restructuring was already planned

Building materials company Tarmac is cutting more than 300 jobs in its building products division and mothballing plants across the UK.

The firm said that troubles in the housebuilding sector are forcing it to axe staff and close offices.

A spokesperson for Tarmac said: “It's a response to current market conditions and is leaving us in a position that when the market does recover, we still have capacity.”

The firm's Topblock business is mothballing plants at Cambridge and Linford, Essex, and making redundancies at Hilton Main in Staffordshire and Ninfield in east Sussex.

Sales offices in Durham, Ford, Newark and Hilton are being closed and their operations absorbed into the head office in Wolverhampton.

The mortar business is to stop work in Cambridge, Coventry, Northampton and Middlesbrough, while the precast concrete division is closing a plant at Kirkby and making redundancies at Lound.

The firm said that some of the job losses are the result of a longer-term restructure, planned before the credit crunch.

Tarmac owner Anglo American shelved its £3bn sale of the business in February, saying that the deal would not happen “until current credit market conditions improve”.