Builder Dixon's insolvency puts 90 jobs on line
Up to 90 jobs are at risk at Co Antrim building firm Dixons Contractors after it went into administration.
Insolvency experts from business advisory firm EY were appointed to the family-run Dunloy company yesterday.
EY said: "Andrew Dolliver and Luke Charleton of EY were appointed as the joint administrators to Dixons Contractors of 143 Tullaghans Road, Dunloy, Ballymena.
"The administrators are currently conducting a review of the business."
Dixons's business had been focused in recent years on private and social housing projects across Northern Ireland.
It's understood there had been trading difficulties at the firm for some time, with staff at the majority of its building sites stood down last week.
It reported a loss of £480,000 despite turnover of £26m in its most recent accounts for the year to March 2018.
It's understood the firm had outstanding debts of around £5m. The majority of its sites are local, though there is also a single site in England.
It's understood there are 85 to 90 full-time staff at the company, some of whom may be sub-contractors.
The administrators are expected to assess the building sites today to see if work can be resumed.
John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), said: "The news of this latest high profile administration within the industry will come as a major and unwelcome shock.
"Dixons have been a well-known name in the local market for around 40 years and, given their wide range of interests and expertise across social and private housing as well education, health and commercial projects, their administration will be a sizeable loss to the marketplace."
Mr Armstrong said it was difficult for construction firms to stay in business.
"Low margins, insufficient pipelines of activity for the bulk of mid-sized contractors and at times difficult relationships between clients and contractors are in no-one's interests," he added.
Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan, who lives in Dunloy, said: "This is a very sad day and a major blow for the local economy in Dunloy and north Antrim.
"Dixons have been a major employer and contributor to the local area over many decades and this news has been met with shock and disappointment.
"My thoughts are with the workforce who will obviously feel this terrible blow the greatest."