Modular schools specialist teeters towards administration

Eco Modular Buildings, a contractor specialising in the offsite construction of schools, has said it is appointing administrators.

The Hull-based contractor has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator at the High Court.

Its latest accounts filed with Companies House show Eco Modular Buildings had a turnover of £33.5m in the 18 months to 31 December 2021. It employed an average of 77 people during this period and made a £244,314 pre-tax profit.

However, this followed a £946,758 loss in the year to June 2020 and, when the latest results were published in November 2022, a directors’ report warned that Eco faced “significant challenges, both internal and external”.

It had “not always been possible” to pass on to customers “unprecedented” materials cost rises, the report explained. “It is anticipated that the company will report a loss in the current financial year as a result.”

The directors added that the “delivery of contracted and projected schemes on time and on budget is fundamental to the company’s future operations”.

In its last accounts, the company’s auditor Dutton Moore flagged a “material uncertainty” in the builder’s ability to keep trading. The auditor added that finance availability risks could “cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

Eco Modular Buildings had £14.2m of work secured with the Department for Education (DfE) as of November last year, and expected to land a further £33.3m of schemes by the end of 2023.

The business was established by Simon Rawson in 2011, with its website saying it had invested in “highly skilled people and manufacturing infrastructure”.

“We are building excellent long-term relationships with tier one construction companies, recognised by the award of preferred status with one leading company,” added the website.

Based on Copenhagen Road in Hull, Eco has worked on a number of schools projects across England and Wales.

It is currently delivering a new building for the Flagship School in Hastings. East Sussex County Council said it was “aware of the situation” and “in contact with the school and the Department for Education about the issue”.

Eco Modular Buildings declined to comment. The DfE has been contacted for comment.

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