Queen’s builder Fairhurst Ward Abbotts goes under

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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Long-established historic building restoration specialist Fairhurst Ward Abbotts has gone into administration.

More than 200 staff with the Dartford-based firm are understood to have received letters informing them they have been made redundant.

The news comes as two other contractors – Nottingham M&E specialist D H Fathers and Tyneside builder Turney Wylde Construction – also entered administration bringing total job losses to over 400 this week.

FWA was established back in 1941 and holds the royal warrant for building and decorating services to the Queen.

The firm built up a countrywide reputation for delivering renovation and refurbishment of historic properties, plus luxury new build projects.

As well as the Royal Palaces, FWA worked on some of the UK’s finest historic buildings including the National Galley, the V&A and Chatsworth House.

Kevin Brush - managing director of Fairhurst Ward Abbotts,

In 2006, ex-surveyor Kevin Brush (above) bought a majority stake in the then £10m turnover firm and launched FWA on an expansion drive as managing director.

In recent years, the builder grew strongly and was projecting to raise turnover from around £50m to over £80m.

According to its last accounts the firm’s 246-strong team includes 148 directly employed craftspeople and tradesman.

It recently completed the £2.5m restoration of Hoxton Hall, one of Britain’s few surviving Victorian music halls and won trade magazine awards for its restoration of Bletchley Park, the famous home of the Second World War’s Enigma codebreakers.

Begbies Traynor (Central) took over as the administrators yesterday afternoon.

Also this week administrators from Newcastle corporate recover specialist Tait Walker took control of Wallsend building contractor Turney Wylde Construction.

Turney Wylde was established in 1967 and built its business working with local authorities, housing associations and commercial clients in the region on new-build and refurbishment projects up to £7.5m.

The firm was bought from the Wylde family by managing director Ken Parkin and fellow director Ian Cuthbertson in 2011 in the depths of recession.

Ken Parkin Turney Wylde

Parkin (above), who was a former Skanska project director, joined the firm in 2009 and prided the company on developing talent from site starters to managers.

The last set of accounts filed at Companies House showed the firm turned over nearly £6m in 2013 but had high hopes of doubling this last year to its more traditional trading position as more contracts were won.

Many of the 80 staff had been with the firm for over 25 years.

Another long-established Nottingham firm, M&E specialist D H Fathers, also entered administration with the loss of up to 100 jobs this week.

The £16m turnover contractor was established back in 1957 and worked on many projects for Blue Chip clients.

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