A FAMOUS North-East housebuilder has ceased trading after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business.

More than 50 workers have lost their posts at 87-year-old Yuill Homes, in Hartlepool, after the company succumbed to debt problems.

The firm, which was responsible for building more than 30,000 houses across the North, called in administrators Baker Tilly in February, with joint administrators Steven Ross and Ian Kings looking to find a buyer.

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However, it said despite significant interest, no sale could be agreed.

A spokesman said: “The company ceased trading as of March 31.

“This is very disappointing and the joint administrators are continuing to work with contractors and authorities to ensure scheduled sales are completed.

“We were hopeful we could reach a sale having received a lot of initial interest, but there are never any guarantees.”

At the time of going into administration, Yuill had one development on its books, at Brierton Lane, in Hartlepool, where eight homes are close to completion.

Yuill was established in 1927, and bought by Cecil M Yuill Limited in 1993, which sold it to Taggart Holdings in 2006.

In its last set of accounts, Yuill warned of risks to the business, including sluggish customer demand, competition from larger firms and the company's ongoing ability to access finance.

Among Yuill's recent developments are Bishops Green, in Spennymoor, and Dales View, in Consett, County Durham. In the early 1990s, the firm raised its profile when it sponsored Hartlepool United's shirts.

Speaking in February, Edward Yuill issued a statement to clarify the family's position.

He said: “We are disappointed that Yuill Homes has gone into administration.

“The company was founded by my grandfather, Cecil M Yuill, in 1927, and has been responsible for a sizeable proportion of the region's housing stock in the intervening years, building up to 1,000 homes every year at its height and employing some 500 skilled workers.

“In 2006, however, we sold the entire company to Irish housebuilder Taggart Holdings, and have had no commercial interest or responsibility since that date for the company.

“It restructured some two years later in 2008, but again this had nothing to do with the Yuill family, who have since concentrated on other areas of estate management and land development, particularly our estate management division, Mowden Park Estates, and our land company, Northumbrian Land Limited.

“While we regret this bad news to the town of Hartlepool and the consequential effect on individuals and suppliers, we must reiterate that, apart from the name, Yuill Homes has no longer any links to our own business, which continues to trade successfully.”