WRW CONSTRUCTION, one of the leading firms of its kind in Wales says it is being placed into administration.

The company is said to have come under “significant financial stress” and ceased to operate.
Latest filed accounts for the Llanelli based business show it turned over £64m in 2019 generating £1m of pre-tax profit and employing 143 staff.

The company said that despite a significant order book of over £60m to be delivered within the upcoming 12 months, a supportive lender, fantastic staff and prospects, regrettably, owing to a series of events the last week the business was put under significant financial stress.

“The directors have worked tirelessly with their advisors and funders to look for solutions for the business to remain viable.

“Unfortunately, it has been regrettably determined that no viable options remain, and administration is the best course of action to preserve value for stakeholders and creditors. As a result of this, the directors are in the process of placing the company into administration.”

WRW had been working for housing association Linc Cymru at sites in Malvern Drive, in Llanishen, Cardiff, and at housing and healthcare development Sunnyside Wellness Village, in Bridgend.

“We understand that this will cause significant inconvenience and upset, particularly to those who are due to move into Malvern Drive,” a spokesman for Linc Cymru said.

“We are now working with our partners to plan for the completion of works on both sites.”

In Pembrokeshire gates have been locked on the council’s flagship development of social housing in Johnston, with workers saying they have equipment “stuck on site”.

One worker said his firm was owed tens of thousands of pounds.

The council said in a big PR launch last year that the development is constructing the first council houses to be built in the county of Pembrokeshire for over 25 years.

Thirty-three affordable units are currently part constructed in a scheme by Pembrokeshire County Council. It’s on the site of a former primary school at Cranham Park, Johnston – but the future of the scheme is now in doubt following the main developer going into administration.

A source from witrhin Pembrokeshire County Council told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “The Council understands WRW has entered administration. It did so without any warning to the Council, who are desperately trying to establish what is going on.”
“The projects affected in Pembrokeshire include the new housing development in Johnston, the new flats development in Milford Haven and affordable landmark housing scheme in St Davids.”
“The Council hopes to be able to provide an update.”

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “We are currently establishing the facts and will consider further actions as required.”

Meanwhile, Carmarthenshire County Council has taken immediate action following news that Llanelli-based firm WRW Construction is going into administration.

The Authority confirmed that the company directors notified the council that they are in the process of placing the company into administration following a series of events that have put the businesses ‘under significant financial stress’.

In light of the announcement, the council has taken immediate action to secure two major development sites currently underway in Carmarthenshire – the Pendine attractor project and an affordable homes scheme in Dylan, Llanelli.

Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “This is unfortunate news which will no doubt impact on local employees and sub-contractors. WRW Construction has worked with us to develop several major schemes over many years, including schools and homes, and we are sorry to hear of its collapse.

“Our immediate focus has been to secure two major development sites currently underway – the Pendine attractor project and an affordable homes scheme in Dylan, Llanelli. We are currently gathering information and providing practical support to assist sub-contractors who are involved in the work at both of these sites.

“As with all major projects, contingency arrangements are in place. As such we are confident that we can resume work to continue the delivery of both of these major projects in the near future, although this will inevitably lead to some delay and extra costs, which will need to assessed. We will provide further updates in due course.”

The council has recently launched a robust Economic Recovery Plan to support local industries in the wake of Covid and Brexit.

It recognises that many businesses across a range of sectors may come into difficulty over the next few years and sets out a range of measures to support them.

Cllr Dole added: “Whilst we understand the circumstances of WRW Construction’s collapse are unrelated to these issues we will nevertheless implement these measures to mitigate the impact of this situation.

“We have already mobilised business support officers from our economic development team to provide advice and information to those affected. We will also accelerate a range of employment opportunities within the authority that may provide suitable alternative employment for people with transferrable skills, and will work with our partners to identify and promote other relevant training and job opportunities.

“This is a sad situation for all those involved, but we will do everything we can to support all those affected.”

The company released a statement saying the closure came despite a large number of orders.

The company said: “Despite a significant order book of over £60m to be delivered within the upcoming 12 months, a supportive lender, fantastic staff and prospects, regrettably, owing to a series of events the last week, including an unfavourable adjudication outcome, the business was put under significant financial stress,” said the statement.

“The directors have worked tirelessly with their advisors and funders to look for solutions for the business to remain viable.

“Unfortunately, it has been regrettably determined that no viable options remain, and administration is the best course of action to preserve value for stakeholders and creditors. As a result of this, the directors are in the process of placing the company into administration.”

In 2019, WRW Construction has secured a multi-million pound new investment boost to support its ambitious growth plans from alternative lender ThinCats, in a deal brokered by Cardiff-based corporate advisory firm Gambit.

WRW had track record of delivering projects throughout Wales and the west of England, with over 700 schemes completed in the last 35 years across a wide range of sectors from commercial to education.
Impressive growth has been achieved in recent years with the business seeing revenues reaching £60m in 2018. Significant further growth is expected, underpinned by a strong secured pipeline of projects with a value of more than £120m.

Speaking in 2019, Its managing director Jon Williams said: “We are on track to break revenues of £70m this year with an enviable order book of over £120m under contract.
“Despite the well documented challenges the industry and indeed the wider economy is facing, we were delighted to have been able to pick from a range of finance offers to take us forward.

ThinCats regional business development director, Alison Whistance, said at the time: “ThinCats are very proud to support WRW with its continued growth and this facility provides the funding required to deliver their strong pipeline into 2020 and beyond. We worked closely with Gambit and the management team to provide a flexible solution that was bespoke for the business. It was a pleasure to work with all parties involved and we wish WRW continued success for the future”.