Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SO­PHIE HALLE-RICHARDS so­[email protected]­i­tymir­ @so­phiehrMEN

EMPTY park­ing bays, locked doors and 200 peo­ple with­out a job.

This is what re­mains af­ter ma­jor con­struc­tion firm Bard­s­ley en­tered into ad­min­is­tra­tion yes­ter­day.

The Tame­side-based con­trac­tor was due to com­plete a num­ber of ma­jor Manch­ester city cen­tre projects, in­clud­ing res­i­den­tial projects at Mead­ow­side and Blos­som Street. But as of Thurs­day af­ter­noon, sites were closed and staff were told to go home.

Just five days be­fore Christ­mas, hun­dreds of em­ploy­ees have now been told they are out of a job – and some say they haven’t been paid.

One sub-con­trac­tor, who wished to re­main anony­mous, told the M.E.N. his box of tools worth thou­sands of pounds was still locked on a site in Fal­low­field.

The worker added: “I was due to be work­ing on this site for six months af­ter Christ­mas.

“Now I’ve got tools worth thou­sands of pounds locked on site, and no job to see me through at Christ­mas.”

Bard­s­ley Group Ltd cited ‘chal­leng­ing mar­ket con­di­tions’ and ‘uncer­tainty in the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment’ for the com­pany’s col­lapse.

A source told the M.E.N. that the pri­mary is­sues for Bard­s­ley were de­lays in pay­ment from a num­ber of projects, which led to cash flow prob­lems. The source said: “This had been on the cards for months.”

Ad­min­is­tra­tor Duff and Phelps con­firmed that all 200 staff, in­clud­ing around 80 sub-con­trac­tors, had been fully paid for De­cem­ber. But some self­em­ployed staff say they are still owed money by the firm.

A sub-con­trac­tor, who didn’t want to be named, said he was still owed £4,000 from Bard­s­ley Con­struc­tion.

“Yes­ter­day I had been work­ing as nor­mal and about 1pm my site man­ager re­ceived a call from the main of­fice to just shut the site,” he said. “This morn­ing there was a meet­ing but I wasn’t in­vited. I went along any­way but the en­trance was guarded by se­cu­rity.

“I just wanted to find out if I was go­ing to be paid be­fore Christ­mas.

“Full-time em­ploy­ees have been paid but sub-con­trac­tors have not. I’m owed about £4,000.

“I have got two kids and a wife and we were meant to go on hol­i­day to Spain to­mor­row but can’t as I have no money.”

Bard­s­ley was one of three con­trac­tors ap­pointed to de­liver the £200m Mead­ow­side res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment on the edge of the city cen­tre. The 12-storey block Mount Yard was due for com­ple­tion in sum­mer 2020.

The M.E.N. un­der­stands another con­trac­tor will be lined up to fin­ish the job, al­though the com­ple­tion date is likely to be pushed back.

Only last month, Bard­s­ley was awarded the con­tract for a £11m skills cen­tre at Tame­side Col­lege.

The con­trac­tor was also re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of res­i­den­tial projects in Fal­low­field, Gor­ton and Sale.

Steven Mun­caster, joint ad­min­is­tra­tor, said: “We were for­mally en­gaged in Novem­ber 2019 to ad­vise the group on its cur­rent fi­nan­cial po­si­tion and to fa­cil­i­tate an ac­cel­er­ated merger and ac­qui­si­tion process or seek im­me­di­ate in­vest­ment to tide the group over into 2020, when a num­ber of new or­ders are ex­pected to come on­line. De­spite a num­ber of ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est, no ac­cept­able for­mal of­fers have been made for the group, leav­ing the direc­tors with no op­tion but to ap­point ad­min­is­tra­tors. The com­pa­nies nor­mally shut down over the Christ­mas pe­riod and as such this tim­ing will en­able us to un­der­take a fur­ther re­view of the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the group while mar­ket­ing the busi­ness and as­sets for sale. We will be work­ing solidly over the hol­i­day pe­riod to fa­cil­i­tate this.”

De­serted Bard­s­ley of­fices in Duk­in­field

Bard­s­ley was work­ing on projects in­clud­ing Mead­ow­side, left, and Tame­side Col­lege skills cen­tre

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