Mark Whitehead 15 March 2019

Councils fear Swansea construction giant could be 'Welsh Carillion'

Councils fear Swansea construction giant could be Welsh Carillion   image

Swansea-based construction giant Dawnus was today on the brink of collapse and expected to call in administrators Grant Thornton.

The £170m-turnover company hit the headlines earlier this week after workers abandoned diggers in Manchester amid claims they had not been paid.

Work on Swansea's £12m Kingsway redevelopment has also ground to a halt amid fears the company could be the 'Welsh Carillion' – referring to the giant construction company that went bust early last year.

Dawnus Construction has operations in Birmingham, Exeter, Thatcham and Warrington as well as overseas.

Its £12m Kingsway redevelopment in Swansea has been halted while it is thought three school building projects in Powys could also be delayed and a new road project in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, could also be affected.

According to its latest accounts for the year to 31 December 2017 the company's turnover fell to £170.2m from £196.8m during the period.

It was forced to write down certain completed contracts with client solvency concerns and the potential for substantial costs, worth a one-off total of £3.1m, causing it to slip to an operating loss of £787,000.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart was reported saying Dawnus' collapse was 'sad news for staff and its sub-contractors'.

He said: 'The council is today taking control of the site which had been vacated. Our priority is to make the site safe and secure for motorists and pedestrians in the city centre.'

A spokesperson for the Manchester-Salford Inner Relief Road scheme, which is being carried out jointly by Manchester and Salford city councils, said the councils were seeking urgent clarification of the situation and were pursuing 'all other options to ensure the project can continue as quickly as possible.'

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