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Firm building £4.5m H&M store collapses, putting 20 jobs at risk

PUBLISHED: 10:14 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 21 February 2019

The new H&M, which Chalcroft is building in King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter  Picture: Chris Bishop

The new H&M, which Chalcroft is building in King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter Picture: Chris Bishop

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The company building the flagship store in King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter has gone into liquidation, putting around 20 jobs at risk.

The new H&M, which Chalcroft is building in King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter  Picture: Chris BishopThe new H&M, which Chalcroft is building in King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter Picture: Chris Bishop

Chalcroft, the Lynn-based construction company, is building the £4.5m anchor H&M store as part of a retail project aimed at revitalising the town’s centre.

It is thought that despite the collapse of the company, measures have been taken to ensure work will continue on the site so it can open as planned this spring.

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An bird's eye view of the site Picture: Nick DowneyAn bird's eye view of the site Picture: Nick Downey

A Vancouver Quarter spokesman said: “In light of Chalcroft’s announcement, we would like to reassure the shoppers of King’s Lynn that measures have already been put in place to continue with the building of this important project.

“We look forward to providing further improvement to the town’s retail offer and welcoming H&M later in the spring.”

Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, said: “Chalcroft chairman Mark Reeve assured me that, although they were closing Chalcroft they would keep their smaller projects division going. He explained that, although 15-20 jobs in Lynn would be lost he was very confident that all of these employees would find alternative jobs where their skills would be much in demand.

“Mark Reeve also made it very clear to me that they were going to do all they possibly could to avoid any collateral damage to partners and creditors. He also explained that there should not be any concerns over the £4.5 million H&M project in Lynn where Chalcroft have transferred all of their involvement to sub-contractors. Finally, he confirmed that he had taken measures to fully protect other businesses that might be exposed in their supply chain.”

He added: “Of course, I am very sad that Chalcroft Ltd are going into liquidation as a consequence of major challenges in the principal contracting sector. For many years they have been a constant presence in West Norfolk and have contributed a huge amount into the local economy.

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“I have no doubt at all about the fact that Mark Reeve, who is a well-known local businessman and an outstanding former Chairman of one of our LEP’s will continue to invest in and make a difference to West Norfolk.”

Councillor Alistair Beales, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk cabinet member for Corporate Projects and Assets, said: “This is extremely unwelcome news not only given the company’s involvement with the H&M project in town, but also because of the knock on effect of job losses in the area. Chalcroft have long had a presence locally and it is regretful that the company is set to go into liquidation.

“I can confirm that the council has no direct contractual relationship with Chalcroft, but we will continue to work with our investment partners to keep the H&M project on track. This development is key for the future of the town centre.”

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