The Rise Primesite
CPUK was lead contractor for Primesite's The Rise in Liverpool

CPUK falls into administration

Dan Whelan

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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That’s a real shame that is

By MP

Such a shame to hear that this excellent outfit has gone as well. More jobs and skills lost.

By David Cox

Oh NO!

By Jack Rowley

Had us work right up the day they shut down and not a penny paid. They knew this was coming. Lots of us left out of pocket and it has damaged many more firms and individuals

By Disgruntled

As an ex employee of CPUK I’m sad to hear they have gone into administration it was one of the best companies i have had the pleasure to work for Steve Burke is an absolute gentleman and i hope he has better luck in the future

By Anonymous

Where does this leave the councils project? Will questions need to be asked about their appointment and others in the professional team?

By Hale Resident

This is a very sad day as an former employee I’m sorry to hear this news that such a great company has fallen

By Terry Birtwistle

So Minstrell sharpened the dagger.

By Barney

Such a shame to hear the news

By Sue Moynihan

Some top professionals at CPUK.

Margins so wafer thin for main contractors and all it takes is one client to go bust and it’s lights out regardless of how good the team are.

By Mrqs

…. and more subbies out of pocket.

By Eddie Yates

Given the directors set up a new company GGS Build Ltd in early February, it would appear they were aware of the financial difficulties ahead of COVID. COVID may have pushed it over the edge but it was teetering well before then, a prime example of overtrading on a limited balance sheet.

By D&B

A real shame I had always thought CPUK stood out as a very good main contractor, I am sure all the owners and employees are distraught over this as people lose their jobs and 20 years of hard work and effort. I know sub cons will also lose out which can be crippling. As a company owner myself you have to believe you can save your business right up until the very last second, there is no other way. Margins are far too thin in construction have been for years. These flyboy developers with their cockamamie schemes have a lot to answer for!

By MS

So sorry to hear this news. They were a good outfit.

By A Cynical

No surprise there! ‍♀️

By Sarah Gibson

Sad news another great firm gone and sad loss to the industry.
Clients / Developers no doubt not paying as usual – want something for nothing where they can profits or stem their losses from bad decisions -inexperienced developers
More will soon follow

By KT

@ Hale Resident, Questions will not need to be asked (but they probably still will be) about the appointment of CPUK or others in the professional team, it’s a council, they will have had more checks, balances and hoops to jump through as part of the procurement process than any other construction client, sadly these things happen…. if billion &; million pound companies owned by billionaires and millionaires need bailouts and / or are laying off staff after only a few weeks of reduced trade it’s hardly surprising other companies are impacted.

@D&B – the administrator’s announcement was specifically complimentary about all the actions that the Directors of CPUK undertook to try to save the company – check companies house and you will see GGS Build Limited have submitted a voluntary strike off to dissolve the company

By Bored Web Dweller

£70K out of pocket and they didn’t know this was coming?? !! Thank you CPU

By Anonymous