Belfast Telegraph

Majority of 200 KPL Contracts staff secure new positions

BY DONNA DEENEY

The vast majority of more than 200 workers at a company that went into receivership last month have found new employment, it has been claimed.

And there may be more good news for those former KPL Contracts workers still seeking new employment.

There was despair for the 202 workers in mid-February when administrators from PriceWaterhouseCoopers said they could not find any way to save the Dungiven utilities contractor.

But it has since emerged that the majority of the 202 workers made redundant have found work with other construction companies, with just 30 former KPL employees still on the unemployment register.

The Department of Regional Development (DRD) has also awarded a Roads Service maintenance contract previously held by KPL to Whitemountain – part of the Lagan Group based in Belfast.

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said it was his understanding that Whitemountain will use former KPL staff and subcontractors when carrying out work for Roads Service.

It marks some unexpected good news for the construction sector here – which has been in the doldrums since the property crash six years ago.

Dungiven councillor, Sean McGlinchey, had asked for the figures during a recent meeting of Limavady Borough Council. He said: "I was certainly surprised and delighted to be told that the majority of KPL's workers appear to have been given employment with other local contractors and that 30 was the number registered with Jobseekers.

"Even if this is just in the short term, it would indicate that at long last there is a glimmer of hope for people in the wider construction industry and in particular, it is fantastic news for the KPL workers.

"The town of Dungiven was devastated when the news broke that KPL had gone into administration, but this will go some way to give people hope that things are not as dark as we first perceived.

"If Whitemountain are, as we have been told, going to re-employ KPL staff on the Road Service contract, then that's all to the good."

Pat Ramsey welcomed the news and added: "I had been contacted by a number of constituents reporting street lights and even traffic lights not working in recent weeks, and had been told by the local DRD that due to the administration of KPL there would be a short delay in dealing with those cases.

"The regional development minister revealed to me his officials have now awarded the existing KPL contract to Whitemountain."

No one from Whitemountain was available for comment.

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