The company issued a brief statement: “A HR1 notice has been issued with regard to possible redundancies. This does potentially affect all employees. The company is actively taking advice and exploring a range of options.”.
The Darlington-based contractor has helped to build some of the world’s most complex steel structures, including the Burj Al Arab, the Wembley Stadium Arch, Canary Wharf Towers and the Thames Flood Barrier is in trouble.
Since 2000 it has been owned by the Saudi Arabian Al Rushaid Group.
Latest accounts, for 2019, show a pre-tax loss of £157,000 on turnover of £48m, compared to a £1m profit on £37m turnover in 2018.
The directors’ statement, signed on 22nd December 2020, said that it had made use of government Covid-19 support schemes and deferred tax liabilities to manage cashflow. “Other than a short delay to ongoing projects in Sri Lanka whilst the country was in lockdown, all ongoing projects have continued as usual,” it said.
In a joint statement, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Sedgefield MP Paul Howell and Darlington MP Peter Gibson said: “Our number one priority right now is making sure that Cleveland Bridge’s 200 members of staff, and their families, are supported at this difficult and uncertain time, and we will be working with Darlington council and Government to ensure they get whatever support they need.
“Cleveland Bridge is a business with an amazing heritage that has been responsible for some of the world’s most iconic structures, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Shard skyscraper in London. The skills of its workers are second to none and have led to the company having an enviable global reputation.
“The company has a full order book for the next 18 months, this coupled with the firm’s history, expertise and highly skilled workforce makes us optimistic that a buyer will come forward quickly for this iconic business. But it is critical that local jobs are protected as part of any deal to buy Cleveland Bridge.”