Long-established Kessingland construction company Knights Warner ceased trading this week with the loss of 50 jobs.

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In a statement yesterday, the directors said the company, which had its head office in Field Lane and was set up in 1943, had been another victim of the economic downturn.

Current contracts will not be completed after staff were told to stop work on Tuesday.

In May, the company announced it had won contracts with Hopkins Homes for the first of a development of 63 properties at Tower Road in Felixstowe and a £320,000 contract for a 70-plot development at the old Bertram Books Site, in Norwich.

It also said it had won a £500,000 contract with Drayton-based R G Carter to design and build mechanical services at a new 61-bedroom care home at Chantry Close in Ipswich.

The company, which also had an office in King’s Lynn, had also completed work on turning the site of Gisleham Middle School into the new Carlton Colville Primary School and remodelled and extended Denes High School as part of the school organisation review, it said.

Insolvency practitioner Andrew Turner, from chartered accountancy firm Lovewell Blake, has been appointed as liquidator to Knights Warner and he expects the company will be placed into creditors voluntary liquidation on September 4.

The statement released yesterday by Knights Warner said: “It was with much regret and sadness that the directors of Knights Warner Limited had to make the difficult decision that the company should cease trading on August 14, after almost 70 years of trading.

“The company is another victim of the effects of the economic downturn that has had a drastic effect on the construction industry. In order to remain competitive and win contracts, the company had to work to ever reducing margins and as a result of this and not being able to satisfactorily agree the final accounts on several large contracts, the continuation of the business was no longer viable.

“The company employed approximately 50 staff, working out of offices at Lowestoft and King’s Lynn, all of whom have been made redundant,” the statement added.

It went on: “Unfortunately, the immediate cessation of trading has meant that the company has been unable to complete work which was in progress on a number of sites across the region.”

In the statement the directors thanked all staff for the work that they had done for the company, some over a significant number of years, with the longest-serving employee having worked for the company for more than 40 years.

A statement of the assets and liabilities of the company will be reported to the creditors at their meeting on September 4.

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