Cotton Square Daytime Ancoats
Harbur was working on the Cotton Square development in Manchester at the time of its collapse

Harbur Construction creditors yet to receive funds

Charlie Schouten

A major creditor of collapsed contractor Harbur Construction, which went under earlier this year owing £7.8m, is set to lose out on £1.3m, while other unsecured creditors are still unlikely to receive any funds, according to recently released documents.

In an administrators’ progress report filed at Companies House last week, administrator Leonard Curtis said it was still “considered unlikely there will be sufficient funds available to enable any form of distribution to unsecured creditors”.

Harbur, which was based in Heald Green and founded by chairman Christian Bury in 2008, called in administrators in April this year after posting a £2.7m pre-tax loss on a turnover of £22.7m in its full-year results for 2016.

As a result of the losses it reported cash flow difficulties and creditor pressure, and appointed administrators after a refinancing deal did not prove possible.

Lender Consensus is set to lose out on the largest amount of money, despite being Harbur’s secured creditor.

The company had a claim of £1.3m, and although Leonard Curtis warned in its initial administrators’ report in June there would be “a significant shortfall in respect of its lending”, it is now unlikely that Consensus will receive any funds.

The administrators’ progress report said: “Based upon the information currently available to the joint administrators, it is considered unlikely that any fixed or floating charge distribution will be available to Consensus.”

In its initial administrators’ report in June this year, Leonard Curtis also said it was unlikely funds would be available to unsecured creditors, but added that a dividend for preferential creditors would be declared.

Contractors owed money by Harbur include groundworks and civil engineering firm PAS NW, which is owed £323,776; plumbing contractor Sanderson NW, owed £207,654; Paul Fish Brickwork, owed £176,580; and Connolly Scaffolding, owed £158,642.

In its progress report, Leonard Curtis said there would be “sufficient funds available to enable a distribution to preferential creditors”, dependent upon the level of asset realisations achieved, which has not yet been disclosed.

Harbur had preferential claims from employees of £22,000 at the time of its collapse.

Before administrators were appointed, Harbur Construction was on site at a number of housing projects across the North West, including a £6m 76-unit scheme in Everton, and a £4.3m project at Blossom Street in Ancoats, Manchester.

The Blossom Street scheme, Cotton Square, has since been taken over by Eric Wright.

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