Twenty-four construction-related businesses went into administration in March, Construction News can reveal.
Although the figure is a slight decrease from the 31 failures recorded in February, it is still more than the 23 that went under in October, which was the highest total for a single month in 2021.
Business advisory firm Quantuma’s managing director, Brian Burke, said the true economic impact of COVID on the construction industry was now becoming apparent, following the end of government measures to ensure businesses continued trading throughout the height of the pandemic.
“We’re moving back to, I suppose, what would have been normality pre-pandemic,” he said. “But we’re also having to recognise that the world we left in 2019 is not the world we’re in in 2022. And during the course of the intervening period, it’s been substantially different to what we’ve experienced before.”
The construction industry continues to operate in a climate of price inflation along the supply chain, affecting everything from material to labour. Moreover, April 2022 has brought significant legislative changes, including the rise in National Insurance and a red-diesel ban that has pushed up fuel costs.
Burke said that he expects more firms will struggle in the weeks ahead, as they continue to be hit hard by new costs. “These are all additional costs that businesses are going to have to absorb,” he said. “What you’re seeing is a build-up of impacts. The construction industry is going to struggle to be able to manage the impacts of all these multiple things that are hitting them at the same time.”
Two of the biggest firms that went under last month were civils contractor Roadbridge and fit-out firm Twenty 1 Construction. Both experienced a depletion in cashflow, which made it hard for them to absorb pandemic and inflation-related costs.
Burke said: “Cashflow issues are the biggest single reason why businesses fail because they [firms] just don’t generate enough cash to continue to pay their bills. I’d say, in the current climate, it’s probably critical that businesses are extremely focused on their cashflow and managing it effectively.”
He predicted that the pattern of insolvencies would rise and fall in waves over the coming year: “Over the course of time, we will see businesses who have come out of the pandemic, got back up, started to run again. They will run for a certain period. And then, whether it be Q3, Q4, 2023 or whenever, they will recognise that they are no longer viable.”
Five of the 24 firms that went under last month were also associated with a single parent company called JVIP, a Tunbridge Wells-based property developer, which itself is currently in administration. These are St Ledger Ltd, Wall Street Property Investment Ltd, 5CPG Ltd, Water Margin Ltd and Launch Pad Strategies Ltd.
The full list of companies in various stages of administration is below.
Data provided by Creditsafe
|COMPANY NAME||LOCATION||STATUS||DATE OF ADMINISTRATION||CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES|
|1||REEVE PROPERTY RESTORATION LTD||Norwich||In administration||1 Mar||Other building completion and finishing|
|2||ROADBRIDGE UK LIMITED||Welwyn Garden City||In administration||17 Mar||Construction of roads and motorways|
|3||HENLEY CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED||Bradford||In administration||18 Mar||Development of building projects|
|4||CN PLUMBING & HEATING LIMITED||Suffolk||In administration||3 Mar||Plumbing, heat and air-conditioning installation|
|5||TWENTY 1 CONSTRUCTION LIMITED||Colney||In administration||25 Mar||Other specialised construction activities n.e.c.|
|6||ANGLO CHINESE PROPERTY CORPORATION LTD||Anglesey||In administration||5 Mar||Development of building projects|
|7||TWENTY 1 GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED||Colney||In administration||25 Mar||Other specialised construction activities n.e.c.|
|8||TWENTY 1 INTERIORS LTD||Colney||In administration||25 Mar||Development of building projects|
|9||RANI WHETSTONE LIMITED||Edgware||In administration||11 Mar||Development of building projects|
|10||ASTOR CONTRACT INTERIORS LTD||London||Administrator appointed||24 Mar||Joinery installation|
|11||EASYMOVE HOMES LIMITED||Oldham||Administrative receiver appointed||25 Mar||Development of building projects|
|12||MELT HOMES LIMITED||Stamford||Administrative receiver appointed||16 Mar||Development of building projects|
|13||LAUNCH PAD STRATEGIES LIMITED||Tunbridge Wells||Administrative receiver appointed||14 Mar||Development of building projects|
|14||SOUTHWOOD PROPERTIES (N W) LTD||Liverpool||Administrative receiver appointed||2 Mar||Construction of domestic buildings|
|15||STANDENLD BILSTON LIMITED||Guildford||Administrative receiver appointed||16 Mar||Development of building projects|
|16||WATER MARGIN LIMITED||Tunbridge Wells||Administrative receiver appointed||1 Mar||Development of building projects|
|17||5CPG LIMITED||Tunbridge Wells||Administrative receiver appointed||14 Mar||Development of building projects|
|18||UK PROPERTY SOLUTIONS (WEST WEY) LIMITED||Cobham||Administrative receiver appointed||11 Mar||Development of building projects|
|19||P. & D. ENGINEERING SERVICES LIMITED||Hull||In administration||3 Mar||Other specialised construction activities n.e.c.|
|20||CLADDING SERVICES EASTERN LIMITED||Gainsborough||In administration||9 Mar||Roofing activities|
|21||WALL STREET PROPERTY INVESTMENT LTD||Tunbridge Wells||In administration||12 Mar||Development of building projects|
|22||CN PROJECTS LTD||Preston||In administration||22 Mar||Joinery installation|
|23||ST LEDGER LIMITED||Tunbridge Wells||In administration||12 Mar||Development of building projects|
|24||CALEDONIAN MODULAR LIMITED||Edinburgh||In administration||14 Mar||Construction of commercial buildings|