Devon construction giant Midas goes into administration with 303 jobs lost

One of the South West’s largest employers, Midas has gone into administration.

Within hours, however,  it was announced that Bell Group had swooped to purchase Mi-space (UK) Ltd, the property services division which is part of the Midas Group.

The acquisition grows Bell’s already strong presence in the South West and Wales and protects an estimated 110 direct and indirect jobs.

Bell is a market leader in the sector and already has offices across the South West in Plymouth, Taunton, Bristol, and South Wales, with plans to open up a new office in Exeter in 2022.

The deal to purchase the Mi-space business and certain of its assets out of administration secures economic activity valued at up to £20m annually to the local economy, significant supply chain links and indirect employment.

Mi-space has worked for many years in communities across the South West and Wales on a wide range of property improvement, energy efficiency upgrades and retrofitting to homes, benefiting thousands of families and supporting clients which currently include: Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cornwall Housing Association, Curo Places Ltd, Bristol City Council, Exeter City Council, Ovo Energy and Sanctuary.

Mi-space has been contracted to EDDC in the past.

Midas goes into administration

Lili Stebbings

The £290million turnover company reportedly filed a court notice of its intention to appoint an administrator for itself and its main subsidiary Midas Construction Limited on January 29.

But this afternoon, February 8, the Exeter-based construction giant fell into administration with 303 staff being made redundant as a result, according to Construction Enquirer.

It is understood Midas chief executive Alan Hope and chairman Steve Hindley notified staff via teams calls and email on Tuesday afternoon.

Administrators from Teneon are now in charge of the construction group.

It follows the halt on three major hotel builds worth more than £40 million in Torbay following “constant discussions” with Midas Construction, who were the main contractors for the projects.

In Torquay work has stopped completely on Torbay Council’s £11m Premier Inn at The Terrace and the Fragrance Group, which is investing in excess of £30 million in the two hotel builds on Paignton Esplanade also confirmed it is “increasingly concerned” about the lack of progress over the last three months and now says it is “reviewing its options”.

A spokesperson for Midas told DevonLive: “As is well known in the industry there are issues relating to Brexit, Covid, ongoing shortages of materials and labour, and significant cost inflation, which are providing challenges to project delivery and timescales.

“We are working closely with all our stakeholders to resolve the situation.”

Midas won the contract from Torbay Council to build the £11m 120-bedroom Premier Inn on part of The Terrace car park in Torquay.

It was scheduled to open in late 2022 and bring 30 new permanent jobs to the town – with over 150 jobs during the construction and hopes of attracting an annual extra £3.3m tourism spend to the resort.

Torbay Council said it worked hard to ensure that the construction contract with Midas included requirements to employ local companies and apprentices.

A Torbay Council spokesperson said: “We are working with Midas to identify any issues which may be affecting the site and any required solutions. The council remains committed to the scheme which will not only generate new employment opportunities but will complement existing hotel accommodation in Torquay that will attract thousands of guests each year, boosting our local tourism economy by more than £3 million.”

Last year Midas, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned construction and property services companies, posted a trading loss for the first time in it’s 40 year history.

Midas is one of the region’s largest employers, supporting more than 10,000 jobs in supply chains.

The impact of Covid-19 was blamed for the post-tax loss of £2m.