MORE than 100 jobs have been saved after a civil engineering business which worked on high-profile projects such as Bournemouth’s BH2 centre was bought out of administration.

Poole-based Woodmace was also working on the Vespasian development on the site of the former Poole Pottery shop on Poole Quay.

Woodmace Ltd and Woodmace Plant Ltd went into administration on July 11 after struggling with cashflow and the soaring cost of materials and labour, administrators said. 

The companies were bought on the same day by John Oak, founder and former owner of the business. The move allowed work to continue on sites where Woodmace was a contractor or subcontractor.

The companies had been taken over in a management buyout in 2020 by Joshua Eiles-Clarke, an employee of 10 years.

The new business is called Woodmace Concrete Structures Ltd and will continue to be referred to as Woodmace.

The move happened days after another prominent company, Brymor Construction, went into administration and was sold.

Mr Oak, who founded Woodmace in 1986, said: “Woodmace is a highly respected brand with a dedicated, loyal staff, and the long-term investment safeguards 150 jobs and means it is very much business as usual, with the same high-quality, professional service.

“It is important to stress that the previous Woodmace was doing well but, in an issue which will resonate with far too many in the construction industry supply chain, the business was unable to collect significant amounts of money owed to it.

“As a consequence, there was no alternative but for the directors to place the company into administration.

“The name of Woodmace, with a proud 36-year pedigree and more than 1,000 projects completed, means so much to all of us here, and I am in a position to help.

“Looking ahead, Woodmace Concrete Structures Ltd will continue to operate with many of the same highly skilled employees and machinery.

“The overall capability will be enhanced by adding investment. This, coupled with new interim directors following restructuring, will ensure the continuation of the majority of our on-going works.

“Furthermore, the administrative side of the business will be enhanced to ensure a robust commercial position is maintained throughout the performance of every contract.”

Restructuring and insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, which handled the pre-pack administration, said 112 jobs had been saved.

It said: “Woodmace Ltd and Woodmace Plant Ltd struggled in a difficult financial climate with pressure on cashflow and soaring prices of materials and labour further squeezing their margins.”

Other Woodmace projects have included the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Bournemouth’s Livingstone Academy, Bournemouth University’s two “gateway” buildings, Southampton’s Horizon Cruise Terminal and Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa.

For the BH2 project, it extracted 40,000 cubic metres for the basement, drainage and hard landscaping on the site of Bournemouth’s former bus station.