THE defiant owners of a scaffolding and pointing company have vowed to stay open for business — despite losing more than a quarter of a million pounds from the collapse of building giant Rok.
Brothers Peter and Russell Gastall, who are joint managing directors of P and R Pointing, want to reassure their customers that it is business as usual.
Their company is strong enough to survive the demise of the national building company Rok which went bust at the beginning of the month owing around £190million.
P and R Pointing was owed £270,000 in unpaid invoices from Rok for scaffolding and pointing work on a number of projects in the region.
The company, in St Helens Road, has had to lay off 17 scaffolders, but the brothers promise they will re-hire them once they obtain new contracts.
Peter Gastall said: “We have been having people ring us up saying they’ve heard we’ve gone into administration.
“We want to put a stop to these rumours — we are not going out of business — we are a very strong company and we can weather the loss.
“We want to let everyone know that it is business as usual and we are still busy working on a number of contracts.
“Even though Rok has stopped work on the sites where we were working we are talking to firms who have taken over those contracts.”
To emphasise how resilient the company is the brothers are carrying on with the £450,000 purchase of a 1.5 acre unit and yard in Little Hulton where the scaffolding, pointing and offices can be housed on one site.
The company now employs around 130 men roughly split between the scaffolding and pointing sides of the business.
Russell Gastall said that Rok had been due to settle a large invoice on November 7 — the day Rok went into administration — followed by other large payments due on December and January 7.
He added: “We know we will never get any money from Rok — there’s nothing left in the company.
“It’s a good job that we had reduced our work for them to around 20 per cent because had it happened last year when we had £1 million worth of work with them it would have finished us off.”
Rok collapsed with the loss of more than 200 jobs from its Westhoughton depot, and owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to local contractors.
At least one Bolton company has folded as a direct result.
Administrators Pricewaterhousecoopers has set up a helpline — 0844 824 0740 — for employees who have lost their jobs.
Source: Bolton News
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