BACHY Soletanche has made another round of job cuts, bringing the total number of staff axed to 55.
The country's biggest foundations contractor is scaling back overheads because of dwindling orders for major ground engineering projects in the UK.
The business development arm has borne the brunt of the cuts and has now been effectively wound down following a string of high-profile departures from the division.
Bachy managing director Martin Pratt said: 'We saw we could offer better service by reorganising the way we work to focus more locally and on our core piling business.' The move has been prompted by a tightening of the largediameter piling sector, particularly in London, and a lack of joint venture activities. As a result turnover has fallen from the record high of £103 million two years ago to a forecast £80 million this year.
Bachy will now operate with a stronger regional focus, based out of its northern office in Lancashire, southern office in Alton, Hampshire, and Westpile's office in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Staff from Bachy's Godalming office will move to Alton in the New Year.
Mr Pratt said: 'We have just opened an office in Dublin, where we think there are very good growth prospects and will continue to operate in Scotland from the Glasgow office.' He added that the restructuring would better service core markets in bored and continuous flight auger piling, plus diaphragm walling.
He said: 'We will be able to do better in smaller projects, with teams dedicated to following them offering a full service including geotechnical smallbore piling.' Rob Jackson, one of the firm's four main operations managers, is the highest-profile departure, although he is leaving for a new job in Australia.
A source who used to work at Bachy said: 'The directors cut 45 staff a few months ago.
But now it looks like that was rejected as not enough by the French owners and another 10 have been laid off.'