260 more jobs lost at Rok

A further 260 redundancies at building services firm Rok were announced by administrators today after a deal to save part of the business collapsed.







The losses come from the plumbing, heating and electrical (PHE) division in Scotland and are in addition to the 711 cuts announced yesterday, administrators PwC said.



Rok's demise follows half-year losses of £3.8 million and after an independent review carried out by accountants BDO uncovered serious failings at the PHE business.









The self-styled "nation's local builder" was hit hard during the financial crisis, when it lost several private and public clients and was forced to cut some 750 jobs.



Extreme weather conditions hit Rok and the rest of the industry earlier in the year, and life worsened for the firm in April, when it said profitability would be hit by a number of "under-performing" contracts in its PHE arm.



Yesterday, PwC confirmed 558 job losses at its maintenance and improvements business, 82 redundancies in the construction division, 69 at the PHE arm in East Kilbride and two in its Exeter head office.



The latest round of redundancies will see 74 losses in Dundee, 130 in Inverness, 28 in Elgin, 19 in Thurso, and 17 in Fort William.



Alan Brown, director of business recovery services at PwC, said when redundancies were announced yesterday that discussions with an interested buyer for the rest of the PHE business were continuing and administrators remained hopeful a deal could be sealed.



Mr Brown said: "Unfortunately last night, it became apparent that this would not come to fruition. As a result of this, and in the absence of any other interested parties, we have regrettably had to take the decision to make the remainder of the PHE workforce redundant.



"We understand the impact of this, particularly in the north east of Scotland, and will be working closely with the employees affected by this decision to ensure they receive the support they need during this difficult time and to assist with their claims for redundancy and other compensatory payments."



Mr Brown said PwC continued to progress with interest expressed in the rest of the Scottish business.



The remainder of Rok staff - around 3,000 - will continue to be paid if they turned up to work as normal, PwC added.



Rok's woes come 10 weeks after social housing firm Connaught entered administration, leading to some 1,400 redundancies.

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