Architecture practice Austin-Smith:Lord is making eight out of 30 staff in its North West studios redundant after 'payment delays on one major project'.
ASL, based in Liverpool and Manchester, said in a statement: "There is no dispute between the parties at the centre of the non-payment issue. Austin-Smith: Lord LLP is part of a major consortium and has enjoyed an excellent and rewarding relationship with this client over a number of years. The client fully accepts its responsibility to pay amounts due, however payment is being hampered by extraordinary events outside its immediate control. There have been, and continue to be, concerted and strenuous efforts underway at the highest diplomatic and political levels to speed payment of outstanding fees.
"While every effort is being made to ensure payment of funds, and while the situation is one that can be overcome, it cannot be allowed to continue unabated and it is as a result of this that the Partners of Austin-Smith:Lord have taken this step. The sensitive and confidential nature of those efforts means we are unable to provide any further information at this stage.
"Meanwhile we have prepared a robust business plan to accommodate this hiatus. The plan has necessitated redundancies across our UK offices, including eight redundancies across the two North West studios. The plan nevertheless includes appropriate resourcing allowances for current and planned commitments with our team of 22 in the North West continuing to work on a range of exciting projects throughout the country and overseas."
Nationally the firm is making 70 staff redundant, 40 of them in London. ASL has other offices in Cardiff and Glasgow.