The company behind the unfinished Easterhouse estate and the Rangers FC flats project has ceased trading and made 22 staff redundant.
Merchant Homes Partnerships Ltd, a Glasgow-based housebuilder that specialised in private and social residential housing, has entered liquidation after failing to survive the challenges of the construction industry. The company, which had contracts worth around £20m across Scotland, has appointed joint provisional liquidators from Opus Restructuring & Insolvency to oversee its affairs.
The reasons for the liquidation
The liquidators cited “unsustainable cash flow pressures” as one of the main reasons for the decision to cease trading. They said that the company had been experiencing “extreme challenges” in the sector, such as rising material costs, inflation, planning delays, skills shortages, and a general downturn in buyer confidence.
The company also faced difficulties in delivering some of its projects, such as an unfinished estate in Easterhouse and permission to build flats on land owned by Rangers Football Club. Residents have complained that other external work on the estate, such as a playpark and landscaped areas, remained unfinished. The company had also been given permission by Glasgow City Council to build 160 flats on the Albion car park next to Ibrox Stadium, but it was unclear whether this project would continue or not.
The impact on staff and customers
The liquidators announced that 22 employees of Merchant Homes Partnerships Ltd were made redundant as a result of the cessation of trading. They said that support would be given to employees through the Redundancy Payments Service when submitting redundancy claims.
The liquidators also said that they would work with customers who had paid deposits or completed purchases with Merchant Homes Partnerships Ltd to arrange refunds or transfers. They advised customers to contact them directly for more information.
The future of unfinished projects
The liquidators said that they would try to find buyers or developers for some of the assets and liabilities of Merchant Homes Partnerships Ltd, including its unfinished projects. They said that they would seek expressions of interest from potential buyers or developers within 28 days of their appointment.
However, it is unclear whether any buyers or developers will be interested in taking over these projects, given their uncertain status and potential legal issues. For example, Rangers Football Club may not approve any plans for building flats on its land without its consent. Moreover, some residents may not want to live in an unfinished estate with incomplete facilities.
Therefore, it is possible that some of these projects may remain abandoned or unfinished for a long time.