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11th March, 2023.
Once again a housing development in Sowerby stands deserted as the building company has gone bust. The only sound on the normally busy and noisy site in Back Lane is birdsong and the flapping of plastic sheets protecting some of the partly built walls.
None of the 60 or so houses is complete. Some, standing within their scaffolding, have reached first floor height. Roof trusses stand in piles at the back of the site. The site manager’s portacabin is unoccupied.
The company that has failed was called Tolent, who were well regarded in the north. Given the company’s size, the Back Lane job was small.
Tolent grew from small roots beginning in 1983, eventually taking on some very big contracts including a £60 million head office build in Gosforth. In 2021 the company had a turnover of almost £200 million.
Then came a series of problems: the after effects of the pandemic, a large contract that lost them money, a developer that failed, higher material costs, and difficulty getting supplies and labour. And January is often a poor month for revenue...........
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