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Update: More than 100 jobs at risk as Lenwade steelworks contractor DGT Structures calls in administrators

PUBLISHED: 14:15 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:01 21 February 2014

DGT Structures' Lenwade base.

DGT Structures' Lenwade base.

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More than 100 jobs have been put at risk after a Norfolk steelworks contractor collapsed into administration today.

Lenwade-based DGT Structures confirmed that redundancies looked likely as it appointed insolvency specialists McTear Williams and Wood to find a buyer.

And the EDP understands that some staff have now been told that their jobs will not be safe.

The business – which employs 119 people and recorded a £20m turnover in 2012 – hoped an investment boost would strengthen its balance sheet and spark a turnaround of fortunes.

But pressure from creditors, problems collecting payments, and a downgrade of the company’s credit rating had made trading difficult.

The announcement is the latest chapter in a turbulent saga for the firm, which was hit by a watchdog investigation in 2012 when a steel frame surrounding a five-storey London church fell apart.

Chris Williams, insolvency practitioner, said: “We have been advising the DGT directors over the last week as they seek to complete a number of contracts which will enhance realisation for creditors. 
“We are already aware of a number of interested parties and will speak to them shortly with a view to concluding an early sale of DGT’s business and assets. Regrettably, at this point we cannot rule out redundancies.”

According to the latest filed accounts for September 30 2012, Pre-tax profits fell by £90,273 to £159,113, despite turnover increasing £740,423 to £20.3m.

But the amount falling due to creditors within one year had risen from £9.1m in 2011 to £10.2m in 2012. This included £7.3m owed to trade creditors and £2.1m owed in VAT during 2012.

Businessmen Andre Serruys and Van Thurston had looked to steer DGT Steel & Clading onto a firmer financial footing in 2008 when they bought the company out of administration and created DGT Structures.

It was followed two years later with a deal to snap up High Cross Forecourt Canopies for £301,000 as part of a pre-pack administration.

High Cross, which moved from Besthorpe to Lenwade as part ofthe package, went on to secure a multi-millon pound contract to build drive-thru cafes for coffee-giant Starbucks in 2012.

• Do you have a business story? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426

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