43 jobs at risk as May Gurney closes piling and fencing operations

More than 40 jobs are at risk at infrastructure services firm May Gurney after bosses confirmed the closure of the firm's piling and fencing operations.

A statement from the company said the continued slowdown in construction and civil engineering had hit its piling business, May Gurney Geotechnical, based in Wymondham, which would be shut with 28 staff at risk of redundancy.

May Gurney, based in Trowse, near Norwich, has also announced a decision to end manufacture and installation of fencing, barriers and railings, resulting in a further 15 staff being put at risk of redundancy in Norfolk.

Consultations with staff are under way, and the company said it was seeking to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible through redeploying affected staff in other parts of the business.

May Gurney, one of the region's biggest businesses with a turnover of �483.1m last year, provides environmental, facilities and highways services in the public sector and maintenance contracts in the rail, waterways and utilities industries.

The company employs about 4,600 nationally.

A statement said: 'The piling market in the UK has been very much affected by the downturn in the construction and civil engineering sectors.

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'May Gurney sees little sign of market conditions changing and has had to make the difficult decision to close its piling business based in Wymondham, Norfolk.

'Unfortunately this means that 21 positions within the piling business and a further seven roles within the plant and transport workshops, also based in Wymondham, will be put at risk of redundancy and we have informed staff that we will now follow the redundancy process which will include one-to-one consultations with affected staff.'

The company added: 'Similarly, the company has also decided to cease manufacturing and installing fencing, barriers and railings for the commercial, industrial and local authority markets.

'Regrettably this means 15 positions are at risk of redundancy in the Norfolk area; a consultation period has started.

'As part of the redundancy process May Gurney will be looking for as many redeployment opportunities around the business as possible for affected staff.

'The businesses will cease trading when existing contracts have been completed.'

Despite the closure of the piling and fencing operations, the company last week reported a 21pc increase in overall sales to �288.9m in the six months to September.

The firm also last week unveiled major long-term contracts with Severn Trent Water, worth up to �62m, and Bristol Water, valued at up to �12m.