Darren Healey Building Contractors and Highgrove Homes (South West) had bad debt of £800,000

Two Cornwall building firms have ceased trading with bad debts of £800,000.

The closure of Truro-based Darren Healey Building Contractors and its residential arm Highgrove Homes (South West) has meant the loss of 83 jobs. Staff at the firm were told they had lost their jobs on Thursday, after going without pay in January.

The firms are neither in administration or receivership at present, but they have ceased working and a decision on the future is expected in the next few days.

Accountant Tony Jopson, who has been appointed by the firms' directors, said: “We are currently involved to find the best possible procedure to go forward from here.

“We are trying to make the best of the situation at the moment. It is in limbo at the moment.

“It is not in administration. The directors are taking insolvency advice.”

The firms' parent company Highgrove Homes Limited has not ceased trading.