Sons of Tolent founder rescue crashed firm’s Teesside operation

Aaron Morby 1 year ago

The two sons of Tolent’s retired founder John Wood have stepped in to buy the Teesside operation of the crashed building contractor and save 150 jobs.

BRIMS steps up:  (l to r) John Wood, former Chairman and Founder of Tolent, Jason Wood, Director, Brims; Rick Halton, Regional Director, Brims Teesside, Richard Wood, Director, Brims
BRIMS steps up: (l to r) John Wood, former Chairman and Founder of Tolent, Jason Wood, Director, Brims; Rick Halton, Regional Director, Brims Teesside, Richard Wood, Director, Brims

Their Sunderland-based firm Brims Construction will take on around £20m of Tolent’s pipeline of commercial projects, including a rolling programme of petro-chem maintenance works.

Tolent’s previous Teesside management team will be re-employed by Brims, along with staff, operatives and members of the supply chain.

Already some sites have returned to work after deals with clients. Talks are also underway with administrators to buy the Teesside office.

Brothers Jason and Richard Wood along with co-director Ian Cliff started their careers at Tolent but left 16 years ago to set up their own business.

They took on the Brims name for their start-up, a name that had been bought by their father John Wood way back in the 1960s when that business fell into administration.

Together the three directors have built Brims up to a £38m turnover contractor employing around 90 staff.

Richard said that Brims had been looking to expand further south and open an office in Teesside but had not envisaged it happening this way.

“Following the announcement on the 13th February that Tolent had gone into administration with the loss of 350 jobs, we took action immediately as it is a company very close to our hearts,” he said.

“My father set Tolent up, but Ian, Jason and I all trained and worked there, with John only retiring three years ago as chairman.”

He added: “Its unfortunate demise has provided an opportunity for the future expansion of Brims and at the same time, we are hopeful of providing secure employment for up to 150 employees moving forward.

“The former Tolent sites will be re-badged as Brims Construction and our sole aim is to save jobs with the minimum of disruption to clients.

“We have spent the last few days talking to clients and reassuring them that their projects will proceed as normal, with the people they have previously been dealing with.  We are confident we can minimise any job losses by quickly stepping in this way.”

Brims said it would not be taking on responsibility for reimbursing any of Tolent’s creditors.

John Wood, who has been working behind the scenes with his sons on the rescue plan, said:  “It gives me great pleasure to be able to offer my help with these proposals, especially with Brims being central to it. 

“It keeps the construction heritage alive under the Brims name and it will hopefully salvage some of the work that Tolent was previously involved with. 

“We are confident that we will save as many site and supply chain jobs as we can and I would encourage all existing management and site staff to feel encouraged at what we are doing.  

“It is great news for the region.  We just want to save the jobs and get work back on track.”

Tolent was founded in 1983 by John Wood.  By the time he retired in 2019, turnover was around £180m with a strong balance sheet and the firm was viewed as one of the region’s success stories.


Latest news

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
13 hours ago

BAM go-ahead for Leeds 200,000 sq ft office

Latitude Yellow will complete final plot at Doncaster Monk Bridge site
13 hours ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £30m logistics job

Latest deal to build five distribution units for Prologis UK
14 hours ago

Precast firm FP McCann cleared after immigration raid

Home Office takes no action after public raid on construction site
21 hours ago

Wates-owned SES restructure delivers record profit and revenue

Building services contractor revenue soars to almost £300m
20 hours ago

25 groundworks firms win £100m Places for People deal

M&J Evans, Carmac and Churngold Construction feature in housing association's line-up
21 hours ago

Energy efficiency firms angry at lack of CITB support

SME contractors funding bid "does not meet the current criteria for supporting productivity or EDI"
21 hours ago

£400m South Cambridge science park approved

Outline approval allows former sewage treatment works to be demolished
21 hours ago

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
4 days ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
4 days ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
4 days ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
4 days ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
4 days ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
5 days ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
5 days ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
5 days ago

Builders demand an end to police plant bans

Call to suspend all embargoes on moving mobile cranes and large site kit
5 days ago

Green light for £65m Blackpool multiversity campus

Education campus of 350,000 sq ft will be delivered in phases
5 days ago

Vinci signs £138m Sheffield steel forge expansion deal

Sheffield Forgemasters signs landmark contract after two years of pre-construction works
5 days ago

McAlpine hires HS2 programme boss to head defence arm

Armed forces logistics expert Mike Hickson takes role as MD of defence
6 days ago

£200m carbon capture plan for Deeside site

Energy from waste operator enfinium looking to invest in North Wales plant
5 days ago

McAleer & Rushe promotes five staff to contracts directors

Design and build contractor targets £500m revenue next year
6 days ago

Consultant quartet win Government estate upgrade deal

Government Property Agency selects Arcadis, Tetra Tech, AtkinsRéalis and McBains
6 days ago

Resi towers pioneer to transform Liverpool site

Beetham founder Hugh Frost to help develop 1,200 new homes
6 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Galliford Try's Barry Kingscote wins coveted prize: Full list of winners
6 days ago

Landsec £250m London terraced office job approved

Skanska tipped for 20-storey Hill House scheme near Fleet Street
6 days ago

Lendlease tops March contracts league

BAM and ISG rank third with big contract wins
6 days ago

Vistry strikes deal with Homes England for 1,000 units

Firm's timber frames factory will supply most of the Midlands houses
6 days ago

Morgan Sindall go-ahead to build 23-storey Salford resi job

Funding deal with CBRE allows latest project on bank of River Irwell to proceed
7 days ago

Contractor services