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Firm’s directors blame bank lending for administration

A Lancashire-based contractor with a £40m turnover has fallen into administration.

Marcus Worthington & Co, the construction arm of Marcus Worthington Group, was placed into administration yesterday afternoon, putting about 130 jobs at risk.

According to the company, all employees’ pay was up to date, as of 30 September.

A statement from the directors of Marcus Worthington Group said that difficulty to secure loans was the cause of the group’s insolvency.

“The current economic uncertainty has led to us struggling to secure additional borrowing from our bank lenders,” it read.

“We have also been unable to attract fresh funding from other lenders because of these testing market conditions.”

The group said it would consult with its subcontractors and update them “in due course”, and that it would support its employees, who were the group’s “primary thought”.

Work will continue on two of the group’s projects, the £85m 125 Deansgate office development in Manchester and the North Western Halls hotel redevelopment in Liverpool, as they are being financed by an investment fund.

Cumberland Building Society, one of the group’s funders, has appointed PwC as administrator at the company, which continues to trade.

The other divisions of Marcus Worthington Group, including residential arms Hollinwood Homes, Marcus Worthington Properties and Stonewall Property Company are unaffected by the contractor’s collapse.

In the contractor’s most recent accounts, dated to 31 December 2017, it reported a £39.3m turnover, up £4m on the previous year.

However, the firm’s pre-tax profit fell to £41,600 compared with the £123,800 recorded in 2016.

The accounts also stated that the business owed creditors £11m within the year.

Marcus Worthington has been operating as a commercial contractor for the past four decades, having starting as a family business in 1975.

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