Belfast Telegraph

Top metalwork firm axes 15 in reshuffle

By Clare Weir

A Lisburn metalwork company which worked on major transport projects in London and Birmingham has announced 15 redundancies - but saved over 100 remaining jobs - following a corporate restructuring.

The McGrath Group said that the job losses are due to the downturn in the construction industry, but said the remaining 117 jobs were safe.

Directors appointed licensed insolvency practitioner David McClean, of McClean -amp; Co, as administrator to one of the group companies, McGrath Bros (Engineering) Ltd.

It has also redeployed staff and cut costs to rescue the business, which has been operating for 25 years.

The McGrath Group is currently working on a number of major rail related projects in central London, a £600m mixed-use scheme in Birmingham and has also worked on King's Cross Station, Stratford International Station and the Docklands Light Rail.

Brian McGrath, the group's joint managing director, said that like many in the construction industry, the company has experienced a reduction in both private and public sector activity since 2007.

"The group reduced employment and other costs during 2009 and 2010, but it recently became clear that we required a restructuring in order to maintain the group's viability," he said.

"We regret having to make any redundancies, but we're relieved that we are able to preserve the majority of jobs.

"Our current order book is strong and we are working on a number of significant contracts in the UK rail sector.

"We are confident there is a pipeline of contracts obtainable over the next three or four years from the £7bn Crossrail project to build a major new railway link under central London."

David McClean, of McClean -amp; Co, added: "The group has worked closely with us as business recovery specialists to ensure it can preserve the core of its business and as much of the employment as possible."

Based at Lissue Industrial Estate in Lisburn, McGrath began as a provider of specialist metalwork and steelwork to the Northern Ireland construction market in the 1980s and later expanded by opening offices in Dublin and London in the late 1990s.