Dozens of jobs axed as Corrie set builder Askam Construction goes into administration

The new Coronation Street set.
The new Coronation Street set.

The Lancaster firm which built the new Coronation Street set has gone into administration with the loss of more than 40 jobs.

Askam Construction, based on Hampson Lane, suffered heavy losses on contracts over the last two years.

Administrators Ernst and Young (EY) were appointed on Tuesday and told The Guardian they had sold off a number of contracts in a deal which saves 45 jobs.

However Askam’s construction division has ceased trading, resulting in 43 redundancies.

A spokesman for EY said: “Shortly following their appointment, the joint administrators completed a sale of certain contracts relating to the company’s civil engineering division and its plant and machinery to Askam Civil Engineering Limited, in a deal which saw 45 jobs transfer to the purchaser.

“The company’s construction division has ceased to trade, resulting in the redundancies of 43 employees.

“The joint administrators will now work to realise the company’s remaining assets, which include a residential property development near Lancaster, various construction and civil engineering contracts and associated work in progress and several investments.”

Joint administrator Sam Woodward, appointed along with Tom Jack, said: “Askam Construction Limited suffered material losses on a number of contracts during the past 24 months, and these placed significant pressure on the business and its cash flow.

“This pressure ultimately became too great for the business to continue viably and the directors concluded that the company was insolvent.

“We are pleased to have completed a sale which has secured the ongoing employment of 45 people, and we will now focus on realising the company’s remaining assets to secure the best possible return for creditors.”

In summer 2012, Askam achieved a major coup when it secured the contract to build the new Coronation Street set at Salford’s Media City.

More recently, workers had been converting a disused mill in Burscough, west Lancashire, into a 56-apartment complex but the site was ravaged by a major fire last month.

In September, Askam was awarded a £3m-plus contract by Lancaster University to refurbish 14-storey Bowland Tower, which it completed in December. Other clients include Lancaster City Council and United Utilities.

Askam Construction was founded in 1986 by managing director John Lowery.

It employed people in more than 80 trades, including groundworks, joinery, plant operations, steel fixing and bricklaying.

In 2011, it was named by the Daily Telegraph as among Britain’s 1,000 brightest businesses collectively generating more than £50bn in sales.