Fountains Group in administration: 450 jobs to go

About 450 people have been made redundant after a major council contractor went into administration.

The majority of assets from Fountains Group have been sold to outsourcing and facilities management company OCS Group, based in Crawley, West Sussex.

Administrators said 153 of the job losses were in Norwich, 139 in Liverpool and 52 in Rochford, Essex.

A spokesman for the administrators said the sale saved 1,570 jobs.

'Best option'

Fountains Group, a utilities and infrastructure contractor based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, had employed more than 2,000 staff.

Tony Nygate, spokesman for the administrators, said: "We are pleased to have concluded the sale of the business to OCS Group, preserving more than 1,570 jobs.

"A sale of Fountains Group was the best option to secure the future of the business, which has been exposed to the difficult economic climate.

"Today's announcement enables the business to move forward confidently and on a secure financial footing."

The administrators said about 450 Fountains Group employees were being made redundant.

They said 42 jobs would go in Cannock, Staffordshire, 47 in Uxbridge, west London, 10 on the Isle of Wight and eight in Victoria, London.

In Norwich, the company held contracts with the city council for street cleaning, cemeteries, parks and trees.

Alan Waters, the council's cabinet member for resources, said: "We have already spoken to the administrator as a matter of urgency to discuss the continuation of these contracts and what we can do to try and protect local jobs."

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