Revealed: the 21 construction firms that collapsed in April

A total of 21 construction-related businesses went into administration in April. This comes after 31 firms went under in February and 24 in March.

While the number of firms filing for administration has fallen, compared with the past two months, Stirling Advisory’s insolvency practitioner, Emily Ball, has suggested the decline will be short-lived.

Speaking to Construction News, Ball said companies are “hanging on and waiting”, but many of them will inevitably be forced to file for administration in the coming months.

She predicted that the construction industry will continue to see high levels of insolvencies over the next six to nine months. She added that fixed-price contracts, in a climate of rising material costs, would ultimately continue to plague the industry.

“Construction companies are stuck in fixed-price contracts,” said Ball. “Their competitors are still quoting the same rates, despite the price increase of the raw materials. So, at some point, those businesses begin trading at a loss. There’s going to be some fallout from that. But it will just take us a while to filter through.”

Ball suggested companies at the bottom of the supply chain will be particularly vulnerable to these pressures. “If you’re the little boys at the bottom, you’ve got very little ability to manoeuvre, because everybody’s so price sensitive,” she said.

She added that raising finance for struggling firms was a difficult challenge currently, with firms coming out of COVID-19 and stepping out of government support measures.

Grant Thornton partner Oliver Haunch echoed Ball’s sentiments and said subcontractors were particularly vulnerable due to fixed-price contracts.

Haunch was appointed administrator over Kershaw Mechanical Services Limited, which went into administration in April, after 75 years. The Cambridge-based M&E specialist turned over £28m for the year ending 31 December 2020 and was the highest-value firm to go under last month. Utilities giant NG Bailey acquired the service maintenance business of the collapsed firm soon after, saving 25 jobs.

Haunch added: “Although construction largely continued through the pandemic, many investment decisions were pushed back in 2020 and early 2021. This impacted [the] pipeline for construction companies and that is being felt now; i.e., they don’t have as many live jobs now as they would have expected. This has caused lower activity at the moment, even though future investment and pipelines are strong.”

In March, five out of 24 firms that went into administration were linked to the same parent company, JVIP group, which itself went under. In April, another associated company called St Johns TW Limited went into administration.

The full list of firms at different stages of administration can be found below.

Data provided by Creditsafe

COMPANY NAME LOCATION DATE OF ADMINISTRATION TYPE OF DOCUMENTS FILED TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES
ALDERDALE SEATING LTD Wolverhampton 29 Apr Administration order Other specialised construction activities
ASHCROFT DEMOLITION (CUMBRIA) LIMITED Mayport 30 Apr In administration Construction of other civil engineering projects
ATLAS TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT LTD Manchester 26 Apr Administration order Other specialised construction activities
CFS (OFFSHORE ENGINEERING) LIMITED Hebburn 12 Apr In administration Other specialised construction activities
CROSSLEY WEBB CONTRACTS LIMITED Halifax 14 Apr Administration order Other specialised construction activities
DCP CAROLINE 2 LIMITED Sutton 7 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
DCP CAROLINE LIMITED Sutton 7 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
DIGICOLLAB LIMITED Cambridge 12 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
FOUNDA LIMITED Nottingham 1 Apr Administration order Test drilling and boring
FUTURE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES LIMITED Blackpool 5 Apr Administration order Electrical installation
GRAVITAS 002 LIMITED Exeter 13 Apr Administrative receiver appointed Development of building projects
IKARIA DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED Aldermaston 5 Apr Administrative receiver appointed Development of building projects
KEIRAN BROWN BUILDING SERVICES LIMITED Ripley 22 Apr In administration Plumbing, heat and air-conditioning installation
KERSHAW MECHANICAL SERVICES LIMITED Cambridge 12 Apr Administration order Plumbing, heat and air-conditioning installation
MACK CIVILS AND CONSTRUCTION LIMITED Frome 12 Apr Administration order Construction of roads and motorways
MECHANICAL FACILITIES SERVICES LIMITED Doncaster 8 Apr Administration order Electrical installation
OLYMPIUS DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED Fareham 7 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
PAVILION RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS F3 LTD London 13 Apr Administrative receiver appointed Development of building projects
PRESTON FARM MANAGEMENT LIMITED Teeside 8 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
ROBERT JAMES INTERIORS LIMITED Leigh-on-Sea 7 Apr Administration order Construction of domestic buildings
RSL HOMES LTD Burton-on-Trent 26 Apr Administrative receiver appointed Development of building projects
ST JOHNS TW LIMITED Tunbridge Wells 28 Apr Administration order Development of building projects
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