Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

55 jobs lost at recession-hit firms

Employees at the two Kennedy Group companies have been affected by the decision

The recession claimed two more victims in Northern Ireland when a couple of major companies entered administration.

Fifty-five jobs are set to go after Coleraine family-owned building contractors J Kennedy and Co went under.

There was better news for staff at Chambers Coach Hire firm in Moneymore as the administrator appointed to take control of the business said he was confident of avoiding redundancies.

Both J Kennedy & Co Ltd and Kennedy Concrete Products Ltd are affected by the decision.

A spokeswoman for the companies said: "Unfortunately, due to the current economic downturn which has impacted heavily on the construction industry in Northern Ireland, coupled with the lack of support available within the banking sector, the directors of the companies felt they had no option but to cease operations with immediate effect.

A spokeswoman for the parent Kennedy Group said all other group companies, interests and operations were unaffected by the decision.

Ian Finnegan, of ASM Chartered Accountants, Newry has been appointed administrator of Chambers. He said the private hire side of the business had been sold and will continue with no disruption to the service, while a public sector contract with the department of Regional Development to provide transport for people with disabilities was being continued by the administrator.

In a further blow to the region's economy, it has since emerged that Belfast Metropolitan College is set to axe 100 posts in the coming 18 months.

The college has expressed hope the cut can be achieved through voluntary redundancies. Richard O'Rawe, chair of the governing body said the job losses were necessary to secure the college's future sustainability and development

It is understood a further 27 jobs are also under threat at the Limavady wind turbine firm Gear Company, which is in administration.

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