Fallout from Patton collaps continues in North

Almost 150 jobs are to go as the fallout from the collapse of one of Northern Ireland’s biggest construction companies continues.

The Joseph Hughes Group painting and cleaning subcontractors confirmed it had gone into administration.

The Dunloy-based firm, which employs 147 people in Belfast and Co Antrim, suffered cashflow problems as a direct result of the downturn of the construction sector.

Joint administrator Stephen Cave, from PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the collapse of the Patton group last month had made their position untenable.

He said: “A Company Voluntary Arrangement was already in place, but the collapse of Pattons has made the group’s position untenable and it can no longer continue to trade.

“We regret that we have this morning advised the workforce that all 147 staff will be made redundant with immediate effect.

“We are conscious of the impact this will have on staff and their families and have been in touch with DETI (the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment) and DEL (the Department for Employment and Learning) to see if redundancy payments can be made as soon as possible.

“This is another severe blow to the construction sector and is particularly difficult for the workforce so close to Christmas.”

Companies included in the administration are Joseph Hughes Painting Contractors Limited and JH Industrial Cleaning Services Limited.

Last month more than 200 people were laid off at the Patton plant in Ballymena.

Patton was consumed by financial problems in what should have been a year of celebration as it marked its centenary.

Before it entered administration the company had employed about 320 people.

Patton had a turnover of about £140m (€172m) last year but posted a £7m (€8.6m) loss.

Subcontractors have lost out from both unpaid invoices and future work opportunities.


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