Chester office cut after Barratt review

Troubled housebuilder Barratt will close its Chester office as part of a nationwide plan to cut 1,000 jobs, 15% of its workforce.

The firm told staff of the plan at several meetings in hotels around the country yesterday. The Sheffield office will also close.

Barratt's shares have plunged by 97% since their peak in February 2007.

The company remains quiet on the possible knock-on impact to its subsidiary Wilson Bowden's projects in the region: Kingsway business park in Rochdale, the town centre retail regeneration of Rochdale and the Belvedere House office building in Manchester city centre.

The company has £1.7bn of debt that it is struggling to refinance, acquired when it paid £2.2bn for Wilson Bowden last year.

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