Cleveland Bridge, the specialist engineering contractor and icon of British construction, has called in administrators, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
Reports began surfacing after the Northern Echo broke the news on Tuesday evening that staff at the company were told to come in and retrieve personal effects from their desks.
A company statement on Wednesday confirmed that notices warning of redundancy had been issued to all the staff.
The Echo quoted an unnamed member of staff saying the situation was so bad they may not receive any pay and claimed there was now a battle to find a buyer.
The firm’s 2019 results reported turnover up 30% at £48m but warned about delays to project in the UK and Sri Lanka.
Founded in the UK in 1877, Cleveland Bridge is majority owned by the Al Rushaid Group, and produces high-quality structural steel components at advanced manufacturing centres in the UK and Middle East.
Cleveland Bridge, which recently completed major works on the M4 in Berkshire, produces 150,000 tonnes of precision-engineered steel every year in the highways, rail, transport infrastructure, commercial, stadia, industrial, energy and public building sectors.
The company is said to have a full order book for the next 18 months, which might help to attract a buyer quickly. Protecting more than 200 highly skilled jobs in the North East will be another test for the government’s levelling up agenda.