Jobs threat as builder 'winds-down'

A LONG-established Suffolk construction company is to cease building operations, putting more than 50 jobs at risk.

A LONG-established Suffolk construction company is to cease building operations, putting more than 50 jobs at risk.

V A Marriott Ltd, which is based in Handford Road, Ipswich, plans to complete all current projects but to wind down its operations over the coming months, with building work likely to come to an end early next year.

To protect its business during the wind-down period, Marriott has begun the process of coming to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors. However, they are expected to receive full payment once the company's assets have been realised.

Consultation has also begun with the firm's 55 employees, many of whom have been with the company since starting their apprenticeships as a result of its long tradition of directly employing skilled craftsmen.

In a statement yesterday, Marriott said: “The company has taken the decision because of recent trading results and an inability to obtain finance from its bank. A return to profitable trading is not foreseen during this recession

“The directors want to reassure customers that current building projects will be completed to the firm's usual high standards and intend to meet all post completion obligations.”

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Managing director Roland Marriott, the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the business, added: “The directors of V A Marriott are very proud of the long tradition of quality workmanship associated with the firm.

“We have taken this action so we can meet all our outstanding obligations and keep the company's reputation intact.”

Steven Law, a partner at East Anglia based Ensors Chartered Accountants, has been appointed by the company to assist in putting together the CVA to enable the winding down of operations.

Mr Law said: “It is always sad to see a firm with such a long tradition as V A Marriott close down.

“However, the asset base is healthy and, based on the asset values I have seen, I am hopeful for a full settlement to creditors.

“It will take a while to realise the assets, hence the need to protect the value of the business via the CVA.”

The business was established in 1895 by Valentine Arthur Marriott, a bricklayer by trade, and moved to its present site in Handford Road - which earlier this year was earmarked for redevelopment - in 1920, when it was incorporated as V A Marriott Ltd.

Buildings constructed by the company include the Safe Harbour and Suffolk Punch public houses in Ipswich, originally built for the Cobbold family brewing business, a number of shops and offices around The Walk in the town centre and the Footman Pretty department store (now Debenhams) in Lloyds Avenue.

It also built St Helen's Primary School in Ipswich, completed shortly before the First World War, and in 2005 carried out extensions at the same site during which large sash windows installed in 1914 were found still to be perfectly sound and were reinstalled in a new front elevation.

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