Bury St Edmunds: 30 jobs axed as Baker Construction enters administration

A WEST Suffolk building company has collapsed into administration, with all 30 employees being made redundant.

W J Baker (Gt Barton) Ltd, based at The Courtyard in Lamdin Road, Bury St Edmunds, is said to have struggled to secure work amid increasingly competitive trading conditions in the construction sector.

The company, which operated as Baker Construction, had already reduced its workforce by more than half since 2010 when it employed more than 70 people and had turnover of more than �10million.

A spokesman for the joint administrators, Christopher Pillar and Stephen Oldfield of PricewasterhouseCoopers, said that, with less work available as a result of the economic downturn, the tendering process for such contracts as were available had become increasingly intense.

Baker had been unable to secure work at a sufficient print to make the company viable, and there had been no alternative but for the administrators to make all 30 employees redundant.

It was too soon to comment on the prospect facing the company creditors but a clearer picture should emerge in the coming days, he added.

The business was established in 1954 by bricklayer William Baker who started out with just one other employee. When Mr Baker died in 1975 the business was taken over by his son James, with grandson Robert also subsequently becoming involved.

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In recent years the company has been heavily involved in the affordable housing sector, working with organisations including the Havebury Housing Partnership, Iceni Homes, Orwell Housing and the Suffolk Housing Society.

Other notable local projects in which it has been involved include the Forbes Business Centre on the Moreton Hall estate and the residential conversion of a former office building in Langton Place. It has also carried out a number of housing development as well as minor works for a variety of local clients.