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Ex Doyle staff to be made redundant as £4m of plant goes to auction

Remaining equipment will be used to launch a new business in Stevenage, its buyer has told CN.

Nearly £4 million of plant from the Doyle subsidiary Blythewood will be sold at auction, while the rest will be used to launch a new business in Stevenage, its buyer has told CN.

Blythewood Plant Hire’s remaining staff - now 15 people - will be kept on for “a period of time” but will then be made redundant, Malcolm Harrison told CN.

Mr Harrison’s company, Bridgemere Tractors, bought Blythewood Plant Hire following the collapse of parent group Doyle on 21 June. Bridgemere is part of Malcolm Harrison Auctions.

Mr Harrison said his firm is providing redundancy packages to the remaining staff, now 15 people.

“We got the (deal) because we agreed to pay the redundancy of the staff and their wages for a period of time,” he said.

Staff will be kept on while a group of managers starts up a new plant hire business in Stevenage, using about a quarter of the plant and equipment, and the rest is sold. Some of the gear was used on the Olympics, he said.

Mr Harrison said Blythewood had only suffered because of the collapse of sister companies, John Doyle Construction and Ibex.

He added: “It should not have happened to Blythewood…it is a very big shame.”

Around £700,000 of equipment will be auctioned in Darlington on 21 July, then another £700,000 will be sold in Warwickshire on 28 July, while about £500,000 worth will be sold in Peterborough on 5 August.

The balance will be auctioned over two days in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, on 7 and 8 September.

Mr Harrison said it includes equipment that was used for the 2012 games and was being stored at the Leyton depot in north-east London.

He declined to comment on what he paid for Blythewood.

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