Business

Belfast builders Mascott Construction falls into administration

Mascott Construction built the Mac theatre in Belfast's cathedral quarter

THERE are fears for dozens of jobs at a Belfast building firm following the appointment of administrators.

Mascott Construction employs around 30 people directly but it is understood many times more than that relied on the firm for work via sub-contractors.

Last night, business advisory firm EY has been appointed to place the company into administration.

It said Andrew Dolliver and Luke Charleton had been appointed joint administrators to the company.

However it was unable to give any guidance on future plans for the business.

Mascott was established in 1988 and works across a range of building sectors.

Among its flagship projects was the £18 million construction of the Mac arts centre in Belfast's cathedral quarter.

Other major builds included the redevelopment of Cliftonville FC's Solitude ground in north Belfast.

In 2013, Mascott was revealed as one of four contractors to have been overpaid by the Housing Executive in what was then branded a scandal - although the firms claimed they were actually owned money.

But most recently filed annual accounts show mounting losses for Mascott.

The deficit for the year to August 2014 amounted to £277,029 - on top of £147,269 over the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, Companies House also lists a new firm Mascott Construction (Europe) which was incorporated on Tuesday by Gareth Loye.

Mr Loye, is chief executive of communications infrastructure firm M&M Contractors which shares an address with Mascott at Pilots View, Heron Road, Belfast.

Mascott Construction is just the latest firm in the construction sector to appoint administrators over recent years.

In April, Co Antrim business T&A Kernoghan fell into administration with all staff made redundant.

Other major casualties of a down turn in the industry have been Ballymena company Pattons and Antrim-based Mivan (which was later bought over by the MJM Group in Newry).

Although the sector has struggled in recent years recent years, the latest official figures for the industry have shown growth.

The most recent Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin found construction output was up 3.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year and 2.3 per cent higher than the same three-month period in 2015.

The increase in the overall output was accounted for by a 12.9 per cent increase in repair and maintenance and a slight increase of 0.2 per cent in new work.

Infrastructure activity increased by 9.6 per cent, followed by 'other work' (9.1 per cent) while housing output decreased 1.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, overall construction output in Britain actually decreased by 1.1 per cent on the previous quarter.

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