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Creditors of Britain’s oldest builder vote in favour of CVA

16 August 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

The creditors of R Durtnell & Sons, reputed to be Britain’s oldest builder, have handed it a lifeline by agreeing to support a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), giving it more time to pay off its debts.

The Kent-based company, founded in 1591, hit the headlines after Brighton & Hove City Council claimed in July that it had ceased to trade. The council announced that it was exploring options to replace Durtnell on the refurbishment of its Grade-I-listed Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre project.

But now Companies House documents show that Durtnell agreed a CVA with a group of companies to which it owes nearly £7.4m on 25 July. Brighton & Hove Council, which is claiming £795,000 from Durtnell, was one of the organisations to vote in favour of the move.

R Durtnell & Sons’ annual accounts for the year to 31 December 2017 described economic conditions as “very challenging” as it revealed an increase in turnover from £41.6m to £51.9m at the same time as it fell into a £700,000 pre-tax loss.

Its balance sheet showed that net assets fell to £913,000, half the £1.8m in net assets it held the year before.

R Durtnell & Sons was unavailable for comment.

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