Historic North East firm Cleveland Bridge on the brink of going out of business
One of the North East’s longest established and best known global businesses could go out of existence before the end of the month after administrators signalled mass redundancies.
The administrators who have been running Cleveland Bridge since July have been trying to find a buyer for the historic firm.
But tonight they have issued a statement signalling that attempts to seal a rescue deal have foundered, and the business could be shut in just over a fortnight’s time.
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The Darlington firm, known for its work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge, as well as London’s Shard and Wembley Stadium, dates back to 1877 and was employing more than 300 staff before the administration.
The company is part of the Saudi Arabian Al Rushaid Group, but was hit by delays in construction projects both in the UK and internationally because of the pandemic.
The statement from administrators FRP said talks with a potential purchaser had not progressed to the point where the buyer had shown the ability to proceed.
They said talks would continue but it was preparing to end production within a fortnight. If no rescue deal could be struck, 104 staff on site and 29 on furlough would be made redundant when production ends.
Martyn Pullin, partner at FRP and joint administrator of Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “We have worked tirelessly in the hope of finding a buyer who would continue to operate Cleveland Bridge as a going concern, running a thorough and extensive sales process. However, with no current viable offers remaining to take the business on, we must now prepare for a property and asset sale.
“Regrettably, production will finally end on site later this month. Our specialist employment team will continue to work closely with the staff, their representatives, Unions and the council to support all the workers through what we know has been an extremely challenging time.”
Politicians in the area - including MPs, councillors and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen - have previously expressed their hope that the firm could be saved.