Subbie pain grows in wake of Rok collapse

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Subcontractors across the country are facing unpaid bills worth millions as the industry starts to count the true cost of Rok’s demise.

More than 100 main contractors have expressed an interest in taking-over contracts from the failed builder and are in talks with administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers.

But suppliers and subcontractors will not receive a penny for work carried out for Rok in the run-up to its failure whoever takes over individual construction schemes or larger social housing maintenance contracts.

One trade contractor told the Enquirer: “The bigger firms might pick up a few good deals out of this but we will get stiffed again.

“Our unpaid invoices die with Rok so that money is just written off. We might be back on site in a week or two for a new main contractor but won’t get paid for the work we did for Rok.

“Yet again we are the ones to suffer for the flannel of a company saying everything was OK when clearly they were up to their necks in it financially.”

PwC has mothballed most Rok jobs while negotiations start with potential buyers on novating contracts. Rok staff are being paid by the administrator while deals are finalised.

Trelawney Landscaping, which is based near Bodmin in Cornwall, is owed about £80,000 by Rok and had future contracts worth between £300,000 and £400,000 with the company.

Director John Vokes told the BBC Rok’s collapse had had a “devastating” effect.

He said: “We’ve had to lay off our staff,obviously there’s no work for the men to do.

“We had 65% of our work come from Rok. My main concern at the moment is to keep the company going.”

One Somerset based tiling contractor owed £23,000 said: “This will have a big impact because I’ve got to find that money from somewhere else.

“This whole thing leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.”

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