CPUK falls into administration

The Skelmersdale-based contractor has launched administration proceedings after being unable to find a solution to its ongoing financial difficulties.

Duff & Phelps was appointed as administrator following a hearing at Manchester High Court on Friday.

Construction Partnership UK Group’s plight came about through a combination of factors, one of which being the uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement from Duff & Phelps.

Steven Muncaster, managing director at Duff & Phelps in Manchester, said: “CPUK has come under increasing pressure over the past 12 months due to a combination of factors including an increasingly competitive market and raw material price increases.

“The Company exhausted all options in terms of finding a solution to the current financial issues, caused by a combination of problem contracts and bad debts.

“The combined effect of these, coupled with the uncertain outlook for the construction industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, has caused a drain on the Company’s cash reserves and it had no other option but to appoint administrators.”

News of CPUK’s administration comes after Manchester-based Minstrell Recruitment, lodged a winding up petition against the company in March.

A hearing to determine whether a company can appoint administrators is required once such a petition has been lodged, explained a spokesperson for Freeths, the firm of solicitors acting for Minstrell.

CPUK Group, which was founded in 2000, worked as lead contractor on several projects in the North West including a £12m scheme to deliver 86 apartments for developer Forshaw in Salford, and a 72 apartment-scheme for Whitecroft Group at Shot Tower in Chester.

It has also worked with Altrincham-based Novo Property Group, Liverpool Football Club and TJ Morris, now known as retailer Home Bargains.

One of the contractor’s clients, who asked not to be named, told Place North West that CPUK had been “hurt” in part by the collapse of developer Primesite Developments, which is now in liquidation after several of its schemes went bust last year.

CPUK had been working as lead contractor on Primesite’s £23m The Rise, a 400-unit residential scheme on the edge of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, which stalled when the developer was wound up.

Steve Burke is named as group managing director for CPUK on the company’s website, and Michael English is group commercial director.

CPUK was lead contractor for a 22-home scheme in Hale for Altrincham-based developer Novo Property Group.  A statement from the developer said it intended to continue with the project while “maintaining as many existing subcontractors and suppliers as possible, at the earliest, safe opportunity.”

Place North West has contacted CPUK for comment.

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