Ballymena-based, JBE Mechanical Electrical Ltd, has today gone into administration.
The business which was set up in 1983 and employs 58 people, is one of Northern Ireland’s longest established electrical and mechanical contractors working across the commercial, industrial, leisure, healthcare and retail sectors.
Gerard Gildernew of Gildernew & Co, Accountants and Insolvency Specialists, has been appointed the Administrator by the Company Directors.
The Administrator is currently assessing the options available in respect of the business.
The 58 staff have been notified of the situation with a further meeting scheduled for next week. The Administrator is also in the process of notifying the firm’s suppliers.
Commenting on today’s announcement, founder and managing director John Blair said:
“It is with the deepest regret and profound sadness that we have been forced to take the step of placing the company in administration after 35 years of successful trading.
“In recent years, despite the challenging market conditions, we worked relentlessly to maintain a profitable business, however the struggle became overwhelming due to significant losses incurred on several Scottish contracts and we could no longer maintain our position.
“I would like to place on record my appreciation of the skills, and expertise of JBE’s hard working employees and recognise their professionalism and loyalty throughout.”
North Antrim DUP MLA Paul Frew, who once worked for the company, said: “This is yet another blow to the Ballymena economy and I am greatly saddened to hear the news today.
“As always I will be in contact with the company and its employees to give any support needed.
“Having worked for the company myself in the past, I know that many will have fond memories of their time as an employee.
“The company was well known for its high standard of work and professionalism, winning very prestigious contracts both at home and overseas.
“It will be a loss to the town and importantly the employees, particularly at this time of year.
“Ballymena has suffered many job losses. Small business in the area will feel the impact of this with a reduced market, not forgetting those who traded with JBE.
“I hope that by working together solutions can be found as soon as possible to help boost the economy and the livelihood of people in the area.
“However, today my thoughts are with those who will feel this news most acutely, therefore it is important that we ensure everything is done to minimise the impact.”
North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister said: “The loss of JBE is another hard blow for Ballymena but particularly the families reliant on it for employment.
“A major mechanical and electrical subcontractor across the UK to many of the biggest players in the construction sector, JBE had built up a solid reputation and created many quality jobs.
“It is my fervent hope that a rescue package will be possible. If not, then, Ballymena has been dealt a severe blow at the start of this new year.”