THE firm building the new £74m Kirklees College has announced plans to close its northern construction business with the loss of 120 jobs.
But it has pledged to complete the building project at Folly Hall before finally pulling the plug on its activities.
Engineering and construction group Renew Holdings is to close its northern construction operation – citing uncertainty about future public sector work for the decision.
The Leeds-based group will close the Leeds and Wigan offices of subsidiary Allenbuild – which is working on the college project at Folly Hall – with about 60 jobs to go at each site.
Most of the jobs will go this summer with the rest axed following the completion of the college project next year.
Instead, Allenbuild will focus on projects such as social housing and retail developments in the South and Midlands.
The decision was announced just 10 days after a topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of the highest point of the main college building.
In a statement, Renew Holdings said directors had concluded that the public sector market was “unable to provide acceptable and sustainable returns at an appropriate balance between risk and opportunity”.
It added: “Renew’s building activities in these markets are in the North of England and the group intends to withdraw when its existing contracted commitments are complete.
The group will incur a one-off charge of up to £3.5m in the second half of the 2011 financial year for redundancy and restructuring costs.
Renew said restructuring would cut its 2012 building revenue by about £60m with no impact on group profits.
A spokeswoman for Kirklees College said work on the campus was progressing according to schedule.