Dozens of jobs have been axed after a Midland manufacturer became the latest victim of the UK steel crisis .
Burntwood-based specialist steel fabrications firm Aldridge Fabrications collapsed a week before Christmas, leaving jobs hanging in the balance.
A total of 82 jobs, out of a total of 140, have been made redundant as a result, although administrators managed to save 58 roles after agreeing the sale of parts of the business.
The company, which has been trading for more than 50 years, became the latest to succumb to pressure on the UK steel sector.
It follows huge job losses at the likes of Tata Steel and the collapse of Midland steel giant Caparo Industries .
Aldridge Fabrications supplies specialist steel products to the mining and fabrications sectors, largely from four bases in Staffordshire.
Arvindar Singh-Sall of FRP Advisory, joint administrator along with Raj Mittal, said it was hit by the wider conditions in the sector, which has struggled to cope with a mass of cheap Chinese products flooding the market.
He said: “The sale has secured the future of Aldridge Fabrications’ fabrications division and 58 jobs, ensuring a continuity of service to the business’ core customers who rely on the quality of its steel products. This transaction is particularly welcome to the regional Midlands economy amid the continued difficulties faced across the wider steel manufacturing sector.
“We wish all those involved in the fabrications supply division the very best under its new ownership structure.
“The company’s division supplying products for the mining industry was the latest to feel the squeeze from an industry which remains tough for all operators and suppliers.”
Aldridge Fabrications had operated from premises spread across the Midlands, including Mount Road, Burntwood, Chase Road and Coppice Side, Brownhills, and another in Stoke-on-Trent.
Upon their appointment, administrators immediately ceased trading at the company’s mining division, resulting in the closure of the Coppice Side site, as well as others in Merseyside and Hungary.
Administrators said the company’s turnover had declined for the past few years as the business was over-exposed to a contracting mining industry.
Mr Singh-Sall said this had resulted in “unsustainable pressure” on its cash flow.
He said administrators had been assisting claims with the Redundancy Payment Service.
In a statement, administrators added: “Aldridge Fabrications was restructured in order to try and ease cash-flow but the decline in income from the mining business was too severe leaving the company with no viable option for the business to continue as a going concern.”
Experts previously claimed up to 260,000 manufacturing jobs in the region are threatened by the country’s deepening steel sector crisis.
The steel sector has been badly hit by Chinese imports, while costs related to climate change regulations and business rates are higher than many rival nations.
However, there has already been 2,200 job losses at the Redcar steelworks on Teesside, while Tata Steel confirmed it would cut 900 jobs from its plant in Scunthorpe, and 270 in Scotland, effectively ending steel making north of the border.