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Sat March 23 2019

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Belfast partnership in administration

7 Mar Belfast-based architect/engineer WDR & RT Taggart has gone into administration and partially re-emerged in a pre-pack deal.

Managing partner Stephen Heaney
Managing partner Stephen Heaney

WDR & RT Taggart was a partnership dating back to 1902.

In December 2018 two of the partners registered WDR & RT Taggart Limited as a new company. Companies House filings show that this new limited company is owned 50/50 by former managing partner Stephen Heaney and Johnny Allen, who was in charge of business improvement.Stephen Heaney is also chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers Northern Ireland Region.

However, while it looks like they might have been preparing for the demise of the partnership, in fact the administrator, from Gildernew & Co, said that part of the business was sold before hisappointment to a different new company called WDR Taggart Ltd owned by Kieran Byrne, an outside investor, and fronted by a different partner, Andrew Baskin, who led the firm's environmental engineering team.

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The new company is starting life much smaller than the old, with just 10 staff being retained. The administrator said that 33 staff remain at risk of losing their jobs while options for the remainder of the business are explored.

Stephen Heaney said:  "It is with great sadness and deep regret that we have been forced to call in the administrator following a protracted period of trading difficulties and challenging market conditions. Despite the skills, talents and experience of the outstanding team of professionals at the firm, the trading environment could not be overcome, leaving us in today's situation."

A spokesman for the new company said: "The new company has a very experienced management team, and together with the employees who transfer to us, we will work to ensure that WDR Taggart Limited delivers quality services to clients. In time, in addition to securing the legacy of the parts of the Taggart business that we have acquired, we wish to grow and build a new business."

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