Northern construction group Bardsley enters administration

27 December 2019 3 min. read

As the UK’s construction industry endures the final days of a torrid 2019, Bardsley Group has become the latest casualty of the uncertainty in the sector. The firm has appointed administrators from Duff & Phelps to pursue a swift sale as a going concern.

At the start of 2019, a regional breakdown of construction activity in four of Britain’s largest cities outside of London revealed that building was booming across the country. That was not to last, however, and soon Brexit uncertainty and an economic slowdown had seen Britain’s construction industry “drop like a stone” in June to record its worst monthly performance in more than 10 years. It has yet to recover as the UK’s withdrawal from the EU looms large.

Amid this, a number of construction firms have fallen into administration over the last few months. Earlier in December, construction outsourcing firm Clugston Group appointed KPMG as its administrator, resulting in the laying-off of some 150 staff. Just two weeks later, Bardsley Group has become the latest victim of this trend.

Northern construction group Bardsley enters administration

Bardsley Group is a privately owned regional contractor, and has been delivering buildings in both the private and public sector over the last 55 years. It’s turnover is expected to be in the region of £80 million, with the firm employing over 200 members of staff from offices in Manchester and Leeds, and its diverse workload includes the construction of education, hotels & leisure facilities, office & retail premises together with all aspects of residential development.

The construction firm has experienced challenging market conditions in recent times. As well as new work opportunities being delayed as a result of the uncertainty in the economic and political environment, Bardsley also struggled to deliver a number of recent projects on time, due in part to resource issues within the sector, and contractual disputes with private clients.

Steven Muncaster and Stephen Clancy, both of Duff & Phelps, have been appointed joint administrators of Bardsley Group, Bardsley Construction and Bardsley Construction Holdings. The duo will now look at a sale of the business and assets of the companies as a going concern in the first instance. If this does not prove possible, then they will look to realise all known assets of the group for the benefit of its creditors.

Steven Muncaster, Joint Administrator, commented, “We were formally engaged in November 2019 to advise Bardsley on its current financial position and to facilitate an Accelerated Merger and Acquisition process... Despite a number of expressions of interest no acceptable formal offers have been made for the group, leaving the Directors with no option but to appoint Administrators… The companies normally shut down over the Christmas period and so this timing will enable us to undertake a further review of the group’s financial position.”