Administrators acting for collapsed North East construction group Tolent have told how they are working with other firms in the industry in a bid to keep building sites going.
Interpath Advisory was appointed to Gateshead based Tolent plc and five of its operating subsidiaries on Monday, making 313 workers redundant with immediate effect, after the firm fell into difficulties. James Lumb and Howard Smith, the joint administrators, cited heavy losses incurred on Tolent’s biggest project to date, the £85.5m Milburngate development in Durham, for having a profound impact on the companies’ working capital, ultimately leading to Interpath’s appointment.
The company had shut down its sites last Friday and sent staff home, having tried to secure its future. Around 90 workers have been retained at the firm while administrators seek ways to save the business, which had bases in Shotton Colliery, Leeds and Redcar alongside its two Team Valley head offices.
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Tolent has been responsible for a number of landmark developments over the years, including Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle and the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland, as well as a number of housing projects in the North East and Yorkshire. It has not been revealed how many live projects Tolent was involved in, although the firm has publicised its work on residential at Riverside Sunderland, after winning a £40m contract to build 135 homes at the Vaux neighbourhood, the first of 1,000 homes planned for the area.
It has also been working on the creation of a new Aldi supermarket at Kingston Park in Newcastle, a new £3m RNLI lifeboat station in Cleethorpes, which had been earmarked to open this summer, and was embarking on the next, £7.1m phase of building work at The Pattern Shop in Newcastle – new modern office space at the Stephenson Quarter – following a £1.1m contract to restore the historical site.
Tolent has also been building the new Aldi at the Kingston Court Retail Park. (Image: Projekt Architects via Newcastle City Council planning portal) Interpath confirmed it is working with a number of parties to continue projects, while also seeking buyers for two of its businesses.
Mr Lumb, managing director at Interpath Advisory, said: “Following our appointment yesterday afternoon, we are in active dialogue with parties that may be interested in continuing construction projects for both Tolent Construction and Tolent Living, and are also actively seeking buyers for the Facilities Management business at Wilton, and Tolent’s asbestos removal business at Shotton Colliery. We are also exploring solutions for the companies’ assets, including properties and the housing scheme at Sedgefield.”
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