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Daily Archives: November 12, 2021

Mystery pre-pack buyer saves 68 jobs at Robinson Structures

Derby steelwork contractor Robinson Structures has been sold in a pre-pack administration saving 68 jobs at the stricken firm.

It remains a mystery who has bought the assets of the third-generation steelwork contractor which was set up in the 1950s.

According to a source the buyer does not want to be identified at present.

Administrator PKF Smith Cooper said the Robinson had experienced loss-making periods prior to March 2019 and from the second quarter of 2020, exacerbated by Covid-19.

This significantly reduced orders and despite a cost-cutting exercise saw the firm fall back into loss.

Dean Nelson, Head PKF’s Business Recovery and Insolvency division, became involved initially to review the financial position and options for Robinson, following the removal of its insured credit limits with its key suppliers.

This resulted his team being instructed to undertake an accelerated merger and acquisition process to try and identify a buyer for Ronbinson.

Immediately on appointment as administrator, some of the assets of the business were sold via a pre-pack that included the retention of 68 staff.

Dean Nelson said: “I am pleased that we have managed to secure the sale of the majority of RSL’s assets, saving jobs in the process.

“It has been a very difficult time for the company and its management, compounded by various external factors and commodity price increases.”

“It’s a sad day for the Robinson family, but we are thankful that jobs have been saved and the state-of-the-art production facility remains both intact and operational.”

Did you miss our previous article…

Gove tramples on London Tulip tower plan

Levelling up and housing secretary Michael Gove has thrown out plans to build the Tulip tower in the city of London.

The surprise decision ends a long-running saga of contradictory decisions on the fate of the planned tourist attraction which was backed by the City of London Corporation two years ago.

Gove dismissed an appeal lodged by developer Bury Street Properties against the mayor of London’s decision to refuse planning for the Foster-designed tower.

Nicknamed the Tulip because of its distinctive design, the 305m tall tower would have been the second-tallest skyscraper in western Europe.

A bud-like viewing platform with rotating pods, a restaurant and a sky bar were planned at its top. There was also to be an entire floor dedicated to education facilities during school hours.

The planning inspector’s report published on Thursday, determined the design would cause considerable harm to views of the Tower of London and various surrounding churches.

The inspector also argued that the extensive measures that would be taken to minimise carbon emissions during construction would not outweigh the highly unsustainable concept of using vast quantities of reinforced concrete for the foundations and lift shaft to transport visitors to as high a level as possible to enjoy a view.

The report states: “The Secretary of State has carefully considered the inspector’s assessment.

“He has concluded that the heritage balance is firmly against the proposal.

“Overall, the Secretary of State considers that the material considerations in this case indicate a decision in line with the development plan – i.e. a refusal of permission.”

The scheme’s backers now have six weeks to consider a challenge to the decison in the High Court.


Willmott Dixon gets start date for £29m special needs school

Willmott Dixon has got the green light to start a £29m net-zero carbon school build at Silverwood School’s Rowde campus in North Wiltshire to provide a high-quality environment for 350 SEND pupils by September 2023.

Enabling works to prepare the site will begin in February 2022 with the start of the main construction works in March after planning was granted this week.

To achieve net zero carbon in operation, the buildings will utilise biomass boilers and incorporate a large array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that harness renewable energy.

The school will also use Willmott Dixon’s EnergySynergy service, which models energy performance target data against actual ‘in-use’ performance for three years, ensuring energy use targets set out at design stage are met when operational.

Richard Poulter, managing director for Willmott Dixon’s Central South region said: “We are delighted that planning has been approved. Our team have been working with all stakeholders on a building that provides those learning within its walls with a state-of-the-art facility that also adds to the surrounding community and environment.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our business and through our 2030 ‘Now or Never’ sustainability strategy, we have pledged that by the end of 2030 all our new buildings and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon.  Through our work at Silverwood School, we are proud to be accelerating our commitment.”