Builder working on Saints gym complex announces intent to appoint administrator

·3-min read
An artist's impression of the gym complex due to be built by Brymor Construction at the Saints' Marchwood training ground
An artist's impression of the gym complex due to be built by Brymor Construction at the Saints' Marchwood training ground

THE builder behind a planned gym complex for Saints and Southampton's Horizon cruise terminal has given notice that it intends to appoint administrators in a bid to rescue the business.

Brymor Construction recently won a contract for a state-of-the-art gym at Southampton Football Club's Marchwood training ground.

Brymor Construction Ltd has filed a notice of its intention to appoint an administrator – a move that temporarily protects it from creditors and gives it breathing space to try and save the business from liquidation.

READ MORE: Southampton FC gym to be built by Brymor Construction

Several staff said on Facebook they had been told to leave Brymor construction sites.

Brymor Construction, based in Denmead, was established in 1987 by chairman Stephen Morton and his wife Jan. It employs more than 120 staff.

Southampton Football Club has not commented.

In recent times, Brymor landed the £27million contract to build the Horizon terminal for Port of Southampton operator ABP, and the £10m job of refurbishing the University of Southampton’s Montefiore Halls of Residence.

Other high-profile projects have included a 75-bedroom care home at Barnes Lane in Sarisbury Green.

Another current Brymor project is Vespasian, involving 64 homes and commercial space on the site in Poole which was previously the home of the Poole Pottery shop.

The developer behind that project, Fortitudo, said its in-house team would finish the work if Brymor went into administration. Fortitudo chief executive Richard Carr also said Brymor had been paid up to date and on time.

Brymor's last set of published accounts were for the year ending March 31, 2020, when chairman Mr Morton reported a “challenging year which has impacted on both operational and financial performance”.

He wrote then: “Uncertainty surrounding the protracted Brexit negotiations saw high levels of caution and lack of commitment by institutions and investors, resulting in an indifferent and competitive market and reduced investment in capital works.”

A £30m project was postponed because of planning hold-ups, while the business decided not to accept onerous contract conditions on a further £35m of work for which it was the preferred contractor.

As a result, it relied more on residential, government and local authority-led projects which “traditionally return significantly reduced margins”.

Turnover that year fell to £66.1m from £73.45m in 2019 and Brymor made a pre-tax loss of £166,077 compared with a £1.13m profit the previous year.

READ MORE: See inside Southampton's new £55m Horizon cruise terminal

The size of the workforce fell from 179 to 156 that year, with £233,017 allocated to redundancies.

In his strategic report, Mr Morton said the directors had a “reasonable expectation” that the company had the resources to continue “for the foreseeable future”.

But he added: “Risk of a deep recession, whether due to Covid-19, Brexit uncertainty or a combination of these factors is high.”

Since then, building companies across the country have been hit by sharp rises in costs, supply challenges and labour shortages.

Brymor would have been expected to file accounts in April 2022 for the year ending March 31, 2021, but in March it told Companies House that it had extended its accounting period from March 2021 to September.

Brymor Constuction has not answered calls or replied to emails.

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