Three property companies behind regeneration schemes across the country have gone bust

Castlemore Securities, KW Linfoot and parts of Cofton Group have all gone into administration in the past few weeks.

Birmingham-based land regeneration company Cofton has gone under, and 87 staff face redundancy. However, Cofton (Wales) will continue to trade and Cofton Asset Management, an independent consultancy, will remain in business as Camland Developments.

The company said it had restructured in 2007 in response to the downturn, but the freeze on new finance and falls in land values had “overwhelmed this once highly successful business”.

Developer Castlemore Securities, which was behind the Temple Quay scheme in Bristol and West Bar in Sheffield, has also gone bust, but administrator Pricewaterhouse Coopers said parts of the business may still trade while a buyer is sought.

It is not just city centre schemes; banks are pulling back across the spectrum

Gerry Hughes, GVA

KW Linfoot, which was responsible for several city-centre developments, has also gone into administration. However, chairman Kevin Linfoot said the team was still working on new ventures. In a statement, the firm said it had been “effectively strangled by the banks” because of a “complete withdrawal” of development funding and a fall in mortgage availability.

The firm’s Lumiere and Manor Mills schemes in Leeds and Manyoo in Manchester are joint ventures and will be taken over by partners Yoo and Frasers Ventures. KW Linfoot will continue to manage the construction, sale and legal completion of the schemes.

Gerry Hughes, partner at GVA Grimley, blamed the oversupply of city-centre flats and the credit crunch for the problems in the regeneration sector. He said: “It is not just city-centre schemes; banks are pulling back across the spectrum.”