Belong Birkdale 2
Belong Birkdale is one of Pochin's major projects in the North West

Pochin’s collapse confirmed

Charlie Schouten

Administrators from Grant Thornton have been called in at the Middlewich-based contractor and developer with the threat of redundancies now looming over the company’s 120 staff.

Rumours that the company had called in administrators began on Monday 5 August, with subcontractors and staff turned away from sites in Birkdale, Chester, and North Wales.

Grant Thornton has now confirmed its appointment to all eight companies within Pochin’s Group, including its contracting and development arms.

The administrator warned the move “may result in a number of redundancies and the companies ceasing to trade”.

Grant Thornton said that despite a “pipeline of profitable new work and opportunities” being secured in the last year, “legacy issues from earlier contracts became too great a burden leading to difficult trading conditions”.

The group’s construction arm in particular had found itself in financial difficulty, reporting a £6.2m loss after tax on a turnover of £50.5m, according to its most recent accounts for the year ending 28 February 2018.

The losses are understood to focus on the City Gardens scheme in Manchester, where the company was building an apartment block for developer DeTrafford. While the contract had completed, the company was understood to be in a dispute with the client and the project’s architect, Ollier Smurthwaite.

News of the company’s financial difficulty came to a head on the morning of 5 August, with workers downing tools on sites including Belong Village’s £16m project in Chester, and a project at Hawarden Business Park for Staycold, while calls by Place North West to the company’s office have gone unanswered.

Belong Villages confirmed its two sites, Chester and Birkdale, pictured above, had been secured and closed, while the care home developer added it had “a number of contingency plans in place”.

In May, Pochin’s put its 250,000 sq ft Cheshire investment property portfolio on the market with a price tag of £14m but attempts to find a buyer were unsuccessful.

The company was founded in 1935 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1973, before being taken private in 2014. Representatives of the company have been approached for comment.

Companies impacted by the appointment of administrators are Pochin’s Ltd; Pochin’s Construction, and six other subsidiaries.

Updates to follow in the coming days

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Another contractor burned in the recent big race to the bottom on cost….I wouldn’t be taking best on this being the last this year…

By Elvis

Another North West Tier 2 contractor going bust after trying to win the jobs low on minimal margins. The rest need to wake up and see what has happened to Forest and now Pochin, it’s not sustainable to be under-cutting the competition to win jobs. Part of the blame lies with clients for not realising this and always going for the cheapest tender, it won’t be cheaper in the long-term when the contractor goes bust.

By Another one Bites the Dust

Usual then, contractor being stiffed by developer who has gorged themselves on fractional sales. They won’t be the last Elvis, there is more to come for sure

By Carl

I was on both roof gardens and city gardens for over 3 years… shame to see them go bump the client and pochins both equally to blame for the jobs.

By Ant broady

Developers will not learn until they lose a ton of money. Staffed and run in general by greedy people with very little scruples.

By Lee Albiston

on the Smithfield job in stoke pretty well run site the staff were very good the client seemed happy too.
its a shame certain jobs have taken this developer down.
hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel.

By Anonymous

My husband worked for this firm a couple of years ago, constantly being he wasn’t good enough but never given the chance to learn and develop. Just more and more work piled on – he’s now thriving in his new job.
Sad to see his former colleagues potentially losing jobs but it comes as no surprise to us.

By Anonymous

Yet another contractor getting too big for their boots. They used to be such a respected D and B contractor. Should have stuck to what they were good at.

By A Cynical

And here we are again, when will this industry sort itself out. Contractors in a race to the bottom and developers and QS firms happy to let them! No doubt a board of six-figure salaries at Pochin who couldn’t do anything to stop the rot and will move on to other six-figure salaries blaming others for Pochins demise… there must be a better model than this!

By Mr E

And whos next the big K?

By CBA

Such a shame

By Tannoy

What’s the saying – “If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results” – When oh when will the construction industry learn this and stop doing what they’ve always done? How many more casualties?

By Fake News

Once again, it will be the Subbies & Suppliers that take the real pain.

By Tha'knows

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