The Warrington-based firm founded in 1898 has appointed administrators, Place North West understands.
A winding up order was made against Harry Fairclough Construction on 12 February by electrical engineer Eric Johnson of Northwich advised by Butcher & Barlow.
The last available financial statements for the firm, which were published in March 2018, show a 0.25% profit margin, producing £95,000 profit on turnover of £38m, for the previous 12 months. At the time, finance director Richard Shaw, who left the company after 16 years in December 2018, described the results as “satisfactory given prevailing market conditions.”
The news comes less than a month after the company, which employs 150 staff, was retained on the North West Construction Hub’s Low Value Construction framework, for projects up to £3m.
In December 2019 managing director, Richard Longfellow resigned as a director at Companies House after almost 30 years with the company. Peter Walthall, who has been with the business since 2008, took over as managing director.
In the 1910s the firm completed projects for the Manchester Ship Canal Company.
In October 2019, Harry Fairclough completed work on a £1.5m lion enclosure at Chester Zoo. The company’s other projects include an extension to Blackpool Sixth Form College and the Aldham Robarts Pavillion at Liverpool John Moores Univeristy.
If the appointment of administrators is confirmed, it will be the latest in a series of business failures in a treacherous market for construction companies. In the past year, the North West has lost Pochins, Bardsley, Worthington among high-profile casualties. Margins are thin and any delays to payments or build programmes can have a catastrophic effect on the ability to keep trading.
Harry Fairclough Construction was contacted for comment.