Liquidators appointed to another North East contractor

Liquidators have been appointed to North East contractor All Saints Construction.

A winding up order was made against the County Durham-based company – a former subsidiary of the failed High Street Group – at the end of 2022.

James Dowers and Mark Wilson, both of RSM UK Restructuring Advisory LLP, were appointed joint liquidators of the company at the High Court last month following a general meeting of creditors on 31 January.

The company’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2018 show the company made a pre-tax profit of £96,385, down slightly on the year before, and revenue of just over £16m. However, it has not submitted financial information since that date.

Last June, All Saints Construction was ordered to pay £42,600 to a former employee after a tribunal found the company guilty of several failures. The tribunal said the worker in question was constructively dismissed and did not have an adequate notice period or redundancy pay.

The latest collapse comes after fellow North East contractors Tolent, Metnor and Norstead all succumbed to insolvency in the past month – as did British Volt, the client behind a £3.8bn Northumberland factory project.

All Saints’ parent company, developer High Street Group – best known for its work on Newcastle’s Hadrian’s Tower – went into administration over two years ago, owing creditors more than £200m.

The developer focused on accommodation projects, including build-to-rent apartments and hotels, but had faced a long list of financial issues in the years leading up to its collapse.

In 2020, PwC resigned as auditor of the company’s accounts for the year, saying management had failed to provide sufficient evidence and that a reliable audit was not possible. A year later, replacement auditor Haines Watts Manchester Ltd also resigned, citing the increased credit risk from non-payment of fees.

In a statement of affairs, the administrators said High Street Group’s assets were worth £136m, but it had liabilities totalling £212m, and therefore a net liability of £76m.

The liquidation process for High Street Group is expected to take five to six years.

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