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Administrators called in at NE engineering firm Owen Pugh

10 October 2017

North-east engineering firm Owen Pugh has called in administrators with 300 jobs under threat.

The company, which has been in business since 1946, is one of the largest regional civil engineering specialists.

It has been forced to call in administrators from Grant Thornton after struggling for several months with cash flow pressures, triggered by work on costly high-profile projects.

Efforts will now be made to find a buyer for the Cramlington headquartered business, which employs more than 300 staff across five sites at Dudley near Cramlington, Blaydon, Stockton-on-Tees, Bassington Lane in Cramlington, and Marsden Quarry, near Sunderland.

The company’s construction work varies from road and bridge construction, ports, harbours and sea defences, industrial facilities and office parks to urban renewal and environmental improvements.

Christopher Petts and David Dunckley of Grant Thornton have been appointed joint administrators.

Petts said: “The group has experienced significant cash flow pressure in 2017 as it embarked on a number of large and high-profile projects which have, ultimately, proved to be commercially unsuccessful. This has seen the cash position deteriorate significantly in recent months.

“Despite having sourced additional external investment to the group during July 2017, and having sought further support from funders, cash pressure intensified culminating in parts of the group being presented with winding up petitions in recent weeks, which they have been unable to satisfy.

“I am working with the employees and customers to establish if there are elements of the group that can be rescued, and a buyer located, in very short order.”

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