Plymouth construction firm goes bust owing £2.5M leaving employees out of pocket – Plymouth Live

A Plymouth construction firm left debts of more than £2.5m when it went bust and nearly all creditors are unlikely to get their money back, it can be revealed.

URBN Construction Ltd, which was based at Eurotech House in Burrington Way, went into liquidation in May 2021.

Documents filed at Companies House now reveal 182 claims have been made for cash, most of them from other firms in the construction industry.

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URBN Construction left just £44,400 in assets, but was faced with claims totalling more than £2.5m for money owed.

Even the taxman, HM Revenue and Customs, will not receive the full £345,687 it is due, despite being a preferential creditor.

And 20 former employees are unlikely to see any of the £65,262 that is owed to them.

But the majority of the shortfall, more than £2m, will be borne by URBN’s “trade and expense” clients, in other words companies, many based in Plymouth and the South West, but some others around the UK.

These include Burrington Estates (New Homes) Ltd, part of the Burrington Estates group of property developers which owns Eurotech House and has worked on housing schemes in Plymouth and Exeter.

That firm is owed £51,462, according to a Statement of Affairs document produced by liquidators at Exeter’s Kirks Insolvency.

Mechanical and electrical services firm MEP Systems Ltd, based in Estover, Plymouth, is owed £159,523, Plymouth’s YGS Landscapes Ltd is £37,669 out of pocket, and across the water in Saltash, Westcountry Fabrication Ltd is claiming £87,333.

Exeter’s System Six Kitchens, which opened a 12,000sq ft factory in 2020, is owed £119,338. Elsewhere in Devon, Pavilion Construction Ltd, in Newton Abbot, is short of £93,179, builders merchants RGB Holdings Ltd, in Barnstaple, has claimed £59.135, and Ashburton’s Devon Tarmasters (SW) Ltd is owed £33,943.

A creditors’ liquidation committee was set up in August 2021 to assist with the liquidation.

No reason has been given for URBN Construction’s demise, as yet, and accounts for the year to July 2020 showed its profit and loss account was £461,387 in the black.

The document said the company had accessed “relevant emergency Government support” during the Covid lockdown and “expects to be in a position to commence normal trading once the peak of the crisis has passed”.

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URBN Construction has been involved in several high-profile South West building projects, including the Stowford Mill development at Ivybridge, and at the City Arcade development in central Exeter.

In 2020, it was reported that URBN had been earmarked to construct a 153-bed student flat block in Bristol, but developer Empiric Student Property halted plans to protect cash reserves until the market stabilised.

URBN’s demise is the third building firm collapse to affect Plymouth in 2021. In June, Henry W Pollard and Sons Ltd, based in Bridgwater and Plymouth, ceased trading after 161 year leaving debts of £10m and Plymouth’s Teesra House apartment block unfinished.

In August, the failure of Wales-headquartered WRW Construction left the eight-storey Mayflower Court retirement flats block, in Plymouth’s Millbay, in limbo.

In early 2021, it was reported that 1,600 building firms had gone bust since the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020 – more than the number of retailers or hospitality businesses that went belly up.

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