Buckingham Group jobs go, despite Kier rail rescue


Kier has agreed to acquire the rail business of the collapsed Buckingham Group but administrators have been unable to save the rest of the construction business and nearly 450 people have been made redundant.

The Buckingham Group’s rail assets will become part of the Kier Transportation business, strengthening the firm’s position in the UK rail market, the company said.

Kier Transportation group managing director Joe Incutti said: ‘The Buckingham Group rail business had built a very strong reputation for assured delivery in the rail sector. I am pleased that we now welcome 180 new colleagues into Kier Transportation.

‘The team will further strengthen our capability and this helps to bring an end to a period of uncertainty for former Buckingham Group clients and employees by ensuring continued delivery on existing projects, and the retention of hugely important skills and expertise in the rail sector.'

Rob Parker, Jon Roden and Kevin Coates of Grant Thornton UK LLP were appointed as joint administrators of the Buckinghamshire- based construction business on Monday (4 September).

Mr Parker said the acquisition would safeguards jobs for 180 people and that the administrators intend to continue to operate part of the firm’s head office function for a short period, in support of the purchaser, retaining approximately 45 employees.

However, the administrators said the legacy issues faced by the firm and ongoing losses were ‘simply too great to enable the refinance to succeed in an acceptable timescale’.

Mr Parker added: ‘It is with regret that despite the best efforts of the directors and the company's advisers, a sale of the company's remaining divisions (Building, Civil Engineering, Demolition, Major Projects and Sport & Leisure) was not possible.

‘As a result, 446 employees from these divisions together with some other central roles at the Company have been made redundant following the company entering administration.’

Buckingham Group Contracting chairman Mike Kempley said: ‘After 36 years of uninterrupted trading, this is an extremely sad day for all the exceptionally committed and talented people who have made Buckingham Group Contracting the business it is.

‘In moving to Kier, we are sure our Rail & HS2 teams are in good hands and will continue to deliver an excellent service, and many other businesses are now engaging with the remaining 500 or so Buckingham employees.'

Last month National Highways said that works on its A27 Lancing Manor Farm project, which Buckingham Group was working on, would be paused.

The scheme involves the construction of a new roundabout on the A27 east of Lancing to give access to the New Monks Farm development and provide better links to Brighton City Airport.

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