Directors of collapsed building firm Pettifer Construction said plans for Birmimgham’s new vertical theme park will not be affected, despite the VerTiPlex project being developed by the same group.
The construction firm, which is based in the Warwickshire town of Shipston-on-Stour, called in the administrators due to affect on the compamy of the slump in the housing market.
Many employees at the 50-year-old firm will lose their jobs, with 120 redundancies at Pettifer Construction immediately.
And chairman Brian Pettifer said that a further 150 jobs could go if the restructuring of the remaining Pettifer Group companies failed.
“It is with great regret and sadness that I confirm that Pettifer Construction Limited has filed for administration, and that the remainder of the Group companies are likely to file for administration over the coming week,” Mr Pettifer said.
“We are currently trying to package a deal to sell our consultancy business PCM, which employs 85 people.
“The new management team of Pettifer Construction made great strides in resolving past issues and had generated a robust pipeline of new contracts starting in the New Year, however regrettably funding could not be secured to fund our short term cash requirement.”
Pettifer Construction is one of the country’s best-known family building firms. It was begun in 1955 by Tom Pettifer, and is still run by his descendants from their West Midlands base.
The company has sites in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow and a turnover of £50million.
Mark Orton, joint administrator from KPMG Restructuring said: “Pettifer Construction Limited has been suffering from cashflow difficulties, mainly due to the current financial and economic climate.
“These difficulties reached a point this week where the directors had no option but to place the company into administration.
“While Pettifer Construction Limited is a recognised brand within the industry, the nature of this business means that we will be seeking to wind it down over the course of the next few weeks. Regrettably, this has meant that significant redundancies have been made.”
The future of several ongoing construction projects was thrown into doubt by the news. According to industry analysts Glenigan, Pettifer Construction was involved in 24 projects and bidding on more.
Many of those projects have now stopped and administrators are trying to sell them on to other contractors as a going concern.
But Mr Pettifer pointed out that Pettifer Construction was separate from Pettifer Estates, which is developing VerTiPlex.
The £95million amusement park is set to open in 2010 next to Millennium Point.
Developers hope that the park will give a boost to Birmingham’s tourist industry, attracting one million visitors and employing 650 people.
Mr Pettifer said: “I can confirm that this does not affect our investment business, Pettifer Investments Limited, which includes a number of retail and land assets as well as the Vertical Theme Park concept for which we own the global rights.”