Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Building group in administration

David McLean properties
The company has made job losses over the last 12 months

A building company, which employs 320 workers, has gone into administration.

The property downturn has been blamed for the move involving David McLean Holdings Ltd, of Flintshire.

The company has house building, property development and contracting subsidiaries, with offices in Cardiff and Shrewsbury.

Administrators Deloitte said McLean's house building division was continuing to trade as they seek a buyer. The contracting division is to close.

The group, which was founded in 1972, has operations in south Wales, the Midlands and the north west and south west of England and a turnover worth 160m.

Downturn

A statement said the directors had, for some time, been trying to secure a restructuring of the group's financial affairs following the downturn in the residential property market.

There were 30 lay-offs in May, following 50 job losses last December blamed on the credit crunch.

Nick Edwards, joint administrator, said: "Whilst the property downturn has impacted the group's cash flow, the land and property assets are high quality, and combined with the excellent reputation of the group, should make the house building division an attractive prospect for potential purchasers.

"We are continuing to trade this part of the business whilst we seek a buyer.

"The contracting division has struggled to generate a critical mass of profitable contracts, and regrettably we have had to take the decision to close that part of the business, other than retaining a significantly reduced headcount to work with customers to complete or transfer limited works on outstanding contracts."

The group's headquarters are on the Deeside industrial estate, where 130 workers are based.

There are another 40 in Cardiff, 25 in Shrewsbury and 105 working out on location.

There are two significant ongoing contracting projects - North Wales Police HQ and Prestatyn School - and 11 housing developments in Wales, said the administrators.

Flintshire councillor Patrick Heesom, who represents the Mostyn area, said: "I'm sorry we have lost another construction company.

"These problems will rebound down the scale to smaller companies. It's a matter of deep regret that someone with such a long history of serving the community has run into difficulties."

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