90 jobs lost at Brandon concrete firm

A community's worst fears were confirmed on Thursday with the news that a concrete floor company in Suffolk had gone into administration. Production workers at Milbank Floors at Brandon were sent home last month as a result of cash flow problems and a downturn in orders caused by the credit crunch.

A community's worst fears were confirmed last week with the news that a concrete floor company in Suffolk had gone into administration.

Production workers at Milbank Floors at Brandon were sent home last month as a result of cash flow problems and a downturn in orders caused by the credit crunch.

The company on Thursday revealed that a total to 64 workers had been made redundant at its Suffolk and Essex bases after the concrete flooring business called in the administrators.

But a spokesman said 150 jobs had been saved after a newly formed Milbank Roofs bought the assets of Milbank Floors to return to operations at its headquarters at Earls Colne, near Colchester.

However, negotiations were continuing with the administrator over the Brandon factories, which still remain redundant, said the spokesman.

Further job losses were confirmed on Friday after Milbank Trucks Ltd, the haulage branch of a concrete floor firm, made 15 redundancies at Brandon. A spokesman for administrator KPMG said 130 workers would remain in employment at Milbank Trucks - 20 of those at Brandon - whilst they looked to sell the business as a going concern.

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The news comes after Milbank Floors, which has been making precast concrete floors for builders and developers in the East for more than 60 years, made 99 job cuts at its Brandon and Essex operations four months ago following a restructuring exercise.

But the family firm, which includes Milbank Design and Milbank Industries, was forced to call in the administrators on Friday, October 31.

Administrator Jane Moriarty from KPMG, said: “Unfortunately the Milbank group of companies have become a victim of the stall in the construction industry and have found themselves under increasing trading and cash pressures.”

Richard Spring, MP for West Suffolk, said the news was “very bad” for Brandon and he feared more job losses in west Suffolk as companies involved in the construction industry continued to suffer. He added that he would be talking to officials from the local Citizens Advice Bureau about the issue.

“This is obviously because of the economic situation in this country, which has affected the housing and construction industry very heavily. My heart goes out to those people that have lost their jobs and it is going to be very tough for them,” he said.

Terry Jackson, director of Mid Anglia Crane Hire at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, who has supplied his crane services to Milbank for the last 15 years, said the news put his own business into “jeopardy” after the concrete firm had not paid him since July, leaving a “substantial” hole in his accounts.

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