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700 jobs axed at building services firm

More than 700 redundancies were today announced at building services firm Rok after the firm appointed administrators earlier this week.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced 711 cuts, with the bulk - 558 - going across Rok's maintenance and improvements business

A further 82 redundancies are being made in the construction division, 69 in the Scotland Plumbing Heating and Electrical business and two in its Exeter head office.

PwC, which was appointed on Monday, said it was slimming down the maintenance and improvements division across the UK because there was not enough work.

But it said it had already received more than 100 expressions of interest for the loss-making business.

Administrator Mike Jervis said: "There are still national contractors interested in all divisions, as well as parties interested in individual divisions.

"We are short-listing bidders on the basis of their size, level of interest in acquiring large parts of the business and their speed of reaction."

He said the remainder of the staff - just over 3,000 - would continue to be paid if they turned up to work as normal.

Rok's collapse into administration came after it reported half-year losses of £3.8 million and an independent review carried out by accountants BDO uncovered serious failings at its plumbing, heating and electrical business.

Its woes follow just 10 weeks after social housing firm Connaught entered administration - leading to some 1,400 redundancies.

PwC said the job cuts were nationwide, while the PHE business is based in East Kilbride.

Rok - the self-styled "nation's local builder" - provides repair and maintenance to schools, councils and housing associations.

The group has suffered a torrid time since the start of the financial crisis.

Shares in the group had fallen 90% in the past three years and were suspended on Monday at 18.5p.