Regeneration firm joins growing list of regional casualties – but denies it will close Birmingham office

Urban Splash has become the latest casualty of the credit crunch in the North-west, after admitting it was being forced to cut jobs.

The Mancunian regeneration developer, which is responsible for some of the most lauded regeneration schemes in the country, this week said it had begun a consultation process on making redundancies.

However the firm vehemently denied rumours in Manchester that it was looking to close its Birmingham office. A spokesperson described the reports as “ridiculous hearsay”.

The firm declined to comment on further rumours that up to 30% of staff would leave, and it is understood employees have not been told what the final figure will be.

Urban Splash employs about 280 staff, with a turnover of almost £60m last year.

The firm’s Birmingham office was behind the refurbishment of the Rotunda building and the regeneration of the former Dunlop tyre factory at Fort Dunlop.

Urban Splash follows a string of north-west developers to be hit by the credit crunch. Flats builder City Lofts collapsed earlier in the summer, tower developer BS Developments has gone into administration and Ask Developments has cut jobs. In addition, builder Rok has scaled down its Manchester and Liverpool offices after deciding to reduce its contracting business.

Ask confirmed it had made three “junior development staff” redundant.

Urban Splash said the cuts were being made in spite of good results last year, as sales in the first half of 2008 were down. It said: “The changes are regrettable, given the loyal family of long-serving staff. The company has held off job cuts for as long as possible.”

The developer refused to discuss rumours it was now delaying a number of schemes, saying in a statement: “We are committed to all our projects. Work is continuing on them.”