The first warning signs emerged yesterday evening when subcontractors on some sites were told not to turn up for work tomorrow.
This morning staff received the bad news that the £80m revenue contractor had collapsed.
Administrators from insolvency specialist Duff & Phelps entered the Manchester head office this morning axing around 200 jobs.
It had enjoyed growth in the last few years on the back of the building boom in the north west.
One insider told the Enquirer: “This has been a terrible shock just before Christmas, we didn’t see anything like this coming.
“I can only assume we have overtraded or been caught by slow payments from clients.”
Steven Muncaster, a joint administrator at Duff & Phelps, said that the group had experienced challenging market conditions including the timely delivery of several projects, resource issues within the sector and contractual disputes with private clients.
New work opportunities had also been delayed as a result of the uncertainty in the economic and political environment.
Muncaster added: “We were formally engaged in November 2019 to advise the group on its current financial position and to facilitate an accelerated merger and acquisition process or seek immediate investment to tide the group over into 2020, when a number of new orders are expected to come online.
“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.”