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04/12/2012

147 Jobs Lost In Patton Fallout

147 jobs have been lost as another Northern Irish construction firm suffers from the Patton Group fall-out.

Dunloy-based Joseph Hughes Group, a sub-contractor with Patton, has been placed into the hands of administrators.

Its position was said to be "untenable" due to the Patton Group collapse.

Companies caught up in the job losses include Joseph Hughes Painting Contractors Limited and JH Industrial Cleaning Services Limited.

Over 250 jobs were lost earlier this month at Ballymena-based Patton Group after the company went into administration.

Commenting on the move at Joseph Hughes, Joint Administrator Stephen Cave said the group had "suffered growing cash flow difficulties" in the contracting marketplace.

"A company voluntary arrangement was already in place, but the collapse of Patton has made the group's position untenable and it can no longer continue to trade," he said.

"We regret that we have this morning advised the workforce that all 147 staff will be made redundant with immediate effect.

"We are conscious of the impact this will have on staff and their families and have been in touch with DETI (the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment) and DEL (the Department for Employment and Learning) to see if redundancy payments can be made as soon as possible.

"This is another severe blow to the construction sector and is particularly difficult for the workforce so close to Christmas."

Joseph Hughes was established in 1977 and is based in Dunloy with offices in Belfast.

The job losses at Patton followed financial problems at the company. The company had employed about 320 people before it went into administration. Patton should have been celebrating its centenary this year.

Patton had a turnover of about £140m last year but posted a £7m loss. Subcontractors have lost money due to unpaid invoices and a loss of future work opportunities.

(IT)

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