Takeover of Belfast firm WDR & RT Taggart saves quarter of staff from redundancy
Almost a quarter of the workforce at a Belfast consulting engineering firm has been saved after a former partner took over parts of the business.
WDR & RT Taggart, which based on New Forge Lane, is one of Northern Ireland's oldest companies, having been established in 1902.
Eight posts have been secured, but 22 were lost this week after the firm's partners placed the business in administration.
Bosses blamed the decision on a "protracted period of trading difficulties and challenging market conditions".
Managing partner Stephen Heaney said the decision to appoint Gildernew & Co as administrators was made "with great sadness and deep regret".
However, a new company called WDR Taggart Ltd has now been set up by former WDR & RT Taggart partner Andrew Baskin.
It has acquired parts of the old business, including the architectural, waste and energy services departments.
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Mr Baskin, the former environmental engineering partner at WDR & RT Taggart, is the sole director listed for the new firm.
A spokesman for the company said that its owners were determined to make the business a success.
"(We are) fully determined to build on the legacy of WDR & RT Taggart and to build the firm up again," the spokesman explained.
"We are very pleased to be able to acquire these parts of the former Taggart practice and to ensure that the sterling work of the architectural, waste and energy teams is continued for the benefit of the clients and contracts which we have taken over.
"This arrangement will secure approximately one quarter of the existing jobs.
"The new company has a very experienced management team and, together with the employees who transfer to us, we will work to ensure that WDR Taggart Limited delivers quality services to clients."
The architecture arm of WDR & RT Taggart has carried out inspection work for TK Maxx stores around the Republic of Ireland, as well as working for Tesco, Dunnes and Next.
The company is also currently working on a new store for Next at the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry.
Its waste and energy unit has been involved in developing an anaerobic digestion plant for the Foyle Food Group.