Belong Birkdale 1
Belong will have to search for a third contractor for its Birkdale care village

Belong ditches Cruden on Birkdale

Dan Whelan

The care home developer has terminated the pre-construction agreement it signed with the ailing contractor and begun the search for another company to build the scheme, as Cheshire-based Cruden braces itself for administration. 

Place North West revealed last week that Cruden was on the brink of appointing KPMG as administrator, just weeks after it was appointed to take over the construction of Belong’s 100-person care village in Birkdale, Sefton. 

Cruden had replaced Pochin’s, which had been building the Pozzoni Architecture-designed development before itself collapsing into administration last year. 

Chris Hughes, Belong’s chief finance officer, said: “In light of the events unfolding around Cruden Construction, we have reviewed our recent decision to proceed with them as contractors for the site and have terminated the pre-construction services agreement with them.” 

He added: “Naturally, this is frustrating, but as we were still in the very initial stages of engagement prior to the main building contract, we are confident the impact will not be significant. 

“Belong has now taken back control of the site, ensuring it is both secured and insured, and is exploring all other avenues to progress the build of Belong Birkdale as quickly as possible.” 

Cruden’s impending administration is the latest in a long line of collapsed construction firms in the past year, including Marcus Worthington & Company – the construction division of Marcus Worthington Group – Pochin’s, CPUK and Bardsley Construction.

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Is Belong’s business model based on price rather than quality, or is it just a coincidence that they have attracted two contractors who were engaged in the glorious race to the bottom?

By Anonymous

Both Pochin & Cruden were long standing companies. Both have carried out major works for many years. To suggest they were in a race to the bottom is somewhat ingenious.

By Eric James