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Construction firm lays off half its staff amid dry spell of work

The Vespasian development in Poole under construction, 2022 <i>(Image: Daily Echo)</i>
The Vespasian development in Poole under construction, 2022 (Image: Daily Echo)

A CONSTRUCTION company which has been responsible for construction work in Poole has reportedly made more than half its staff redundant.

The Echo understands that Brymor Group Southern, formerly known as Brymor Construction, laid off more than 30 of its 50 staff last month.

The company, which went into administration last year and later acquired by Winchester-based trading conglomerate Portchester Equity, has been going through a restructure amid a lack of new work.

Brymor, based in Hampshire, has been responsible for building Vespasian, a block of 64 flats on the former Poole Pottery shop site, for Poole-based company Fortitudo.

The across-the-board redundancies are understood to involve directors down, with some members of staff having worked for up to 25 years.

A letter seen by the Echo addressed to staff by Brymor said: “There is no easy way to say this, but it is with huge regret that we will need to urgently reduce our workforce such that we need to make some redundancies with immediate effect.”

Read more: Brymor Construction's debts revealed in administrators' report

The letter said staff were paid until the day they were made redundant, on November 16 and that those made redundant are “no longer expected to perform any work” for the company.

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal Europe said its staff Michael Magnay and Mark Firmin were appointed as joint administrators in July last year.

They said Brymor Construction owed about £16m to unsecured creditors, including a list in Dorset, who were unlikely to see any of their money.

Read more: Administrators for Brymor Group report on money owed to creditors

The letter added: “As you are aware, the lack of new business being secured and work commencing has left us with a forecast that without change will cause continuing losses and the ability to make good our liabilities as and when they fall due.”

Family-owned Brymor was established in 1987 by chairman Stephen Morton and his wife Jan.

In recent times, it completed a £27m contract to build the Horizon Cruise Terminal in Southampton and the £10m contract to refurbish the University of Southampton’s Montefiore Halls of Residence.

In their latest report published in August, the administrators said the administration period is due to end in July 2024.

Brymor has been approached for a comment.