Almost 60 jobs at risk as Ballymena-based JBE plunges into administration

Gareth McKeown

ALMOST 60 jobs are at risk after a prominent Ballymena engineering firm plunged into administration.

JBE Mechanical Electrical, one of the north's best known electrical and mechanical contractors went into administration yesterday after 35 years of successful trading.

At this stage the future of the company, which employs 58 staff is uncertain, with a further meeting scheduled for next week.

It is the latest jobs blow for Ballymena following the announcement of 190 redundancies at the Wright Group last year.

The town has also suffered in recent times from the high-profile closures of Michelin and and JTI Gallagher, which resulted in a combined loss of over 1500 jobs.

JBE managing director, John Blair said "significant losses" on work in Scotland has led to the company going into administration. The firm previously operated a Scottish office, which closed in December 2016.

“It is with the deepest regret and profound sadness that we have been forced to take the step of placing the company in administration," he said.

"In recent years, despite the challenging market conditions, we worked relentlessly to maintain a profitable business, however the struggle became overwhelming due to significant losses incurred on several Scottish contracts and we could no longer maintain our position."

"I would like to place on record my appreciation of the skills, and expertise of JBE's hard working employees and recognise their professionalism and loyalty throughout," Mr Blair added.

Gerard Gildernew of Dungannon-based Gildernew & Co has been appointed the administrator and is currently assessing the options available in respect of the business. The administrator is also in the process of notifying the firm's suppliers.

JBE Mechanical Electrical was set up in 1983 and works across the commercial, industrial and retail sectors in the UK and Ireland.

Notable previous contracts for work in Northern Ireland include Victoria Square shopping centre, the two Belfast airports and the Galgorm Resort and Spa.

In addition to its Ballymena headquarters located at River Business Park, JBE also has a London office.

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