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UK firms failing due to tough competition

PLANT Eastern European companies and materials costs hitting British manufacturers

THE HIGH cost of materials and competition from eastern Europe have seen two British plant firms fall in the last week, it has been claimed.

Midlands metal fabricator Eliza Tinsley has appointed administrators and Glasgow crane repair and service firm Samuel Walker & Sons has gone into liquidation.

The news comes shortly after it emerged that innovative dump truck firm Multidrive was also in administration.

PKF, the liquidator at Samuel Walker, has cut 68 jobs at the firm's Glasgow and Manchester depots but has retained 12 staff as it seeks to novate existing contracts.

The family-owned firm, which had a contract to service and provide parts for all of Grove Crane's machines in the UK, blamed 'very difficult trading conditions' in the engineering sector. Grove owner Manitowoc has taken repairs in-house as an interim measure.

Aim-listed Eliza Tinsley, which employed 980 people, called in the administrators on February 1. Administrator Ernst & Young said there was interest from a number of parties and the business was continuing to trade. Eliza Tinsley blamed the cost of steel for its problems.

Multidrive was founded in 1996 and developed innovative haulage trucks for construction, agriculture and the military.

It launched a highly manoeuvrable ar ticulated dump truck for the quarry sector, featuring a horizontal ejector system.

The truck's high road speed enabled it to claim 50 per cent productivity increases over conventional ADTs but only in optimal conditions of long and fast haul roads.

The firm failed to convert interest in to orders and missed out on a huge military contract. Administrator Grant Thornton was called in January.

It has also emerged that the difficult trading climate put Thiefbeaters, a provider of security marking and registration services, into administration.

The administrator sold the business within weeks to a management team that has launched a company called Thief beater Identification.