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R Durtnell & Sons in Brasted, which built Turner Contemporary in Margate, ceases trading

The UK's oldest building firm - and the company behind the construction of the Turner Contemporary in Margate - has ceased trading.

R Durtnell & Sons, based in Brasted, near Sevenoaks, has been run by the same family since 1591.

But it ceased trading this week, putting a number of major projects it is involved in on hold. Around 100 jobs are expected to be lost.

Alex Durtnell at Poundsbridge Manor - a house the firm worked on over 400 years agoPicture: Raw TV
Alex Durtnell at Poundsbridge Manor - a house the firm worked on over 400 years agoPicture: Raw TV

Among them, the multi-million redevelopment of key sites in Brighton.

It had a deal with the local council in the East Sussex town for the £21million refurbishment of the city's Royal Pavilion Estate which includes the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Brighton Dome.

The largest single contract in its history was when it was handed the deal to build the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate in 2008.

The firm built Margate's Turner Contemporary
The firm built Margate's Turner Contemporary

In its last financial figures filed, it warned over cash flow problems and needed additional funds injected into the business.

In the figures up to the end of 2017, it had lost nearly £900,000.

In the report, filed in December 2018, management said it remained "confident" about the firm's future.

Alex Durtnell from the collapsed firm when a house the firm worked on was featured on TVPicture: Raw TV
Alex Durtnell from the collapsed firm when a house the firm worked on was featured on TVPicture: Raw TV

Brighton council said it had "taken back the site and made it secure" following the firm's collapse.

The company failed to respond when contacted by KentOnline.

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