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Construction company wound up with debts of £5m in fresh blow to economy

A CO LONDONDERRY construction firm which employed 60 people was wound up after running up debts approaching £5m.

The Magherafelt groundworks firm Outdoor Services was recently employed on a project in Surrey by major contractor Gilbert Ash.

In business since 1998, it worked on big name schemes including the Giant's Causeway complex, Dundonald Hospital, Asda in Portadown and Dobbies Garden Centre in Lisburn.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) brought a winding-up petition against the company in August. It is understood to be owed around £3m by the firm.

A winding-up order was made by the High Court in Belfast on September 6.

Paul McLean, DUP councillor and chairman of Magherafelt District Council, said: "The winding-up of the company is very sad for our district and other parts of the province as its employees were spread around Northern Ireland.

"It's a sign of the outworkings of austerity in Northern Ireland, and the construction industry really is bearing the brunt of the downturn."

A long list of creditors seen by the Belfast Telegraph has revealed that two quarrying firms in Dundrod and Banbridge are owed around £100,000 and £156,000 respectively.

It is understood the company is now involved in an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) which includes a proposal presented to a debtor's creditors via an insolvency practitioner.