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Thousands of Connaught jobs at risk

Thousands of jobs are at risk as social housing firm Connaught prepares to go into administration.

The group's board said it was in the process of appointing KPMG administrators for the main company and its subsidiary, Connaught Partnerships Limited. It is understood they will be formally placed into administration on Wednesday.

However other subsidiaries including Connaught Compliance, National Britannia Holdings, Fountains Limited and Connaught Environment Limited, will continue to trade as normal. The debt-ridden Exeter-based repair and maintenance specialist has been in turmoil since warning in June that Government spending cuts could blow a £200 million hole in revenues over this year and next.

Since July, bosses at Connaught have been in discussion with its lenders and other potential financiers in a bid to keep the company afloat.

But these initiatives "failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion in the time available", a statement from the board read.

As a result it became "clear that sufficient support would not be extended to the group as a whole to enable it to continue trading as a going concern".

The firm started life in 1982 as a concrete repair specialist in Sidmouth. It provides services to the environmental, social housing, public sector and compliance markets.

Around 10,000 people are employed by Connaught, with around 180 multi-million-pound social housing contracts in the UK.

Until their suspension yesterday, the company's shares had fallen by more than 90%.

It followed a warning in June that it had identified 31 projects where spending will be delayed as a result of austerity measures, wiping £80 million off revenues and £13 million from underlying profits in this financial year.


From Belfast Telegraph