A NORTH Yorkshire businessman yesterday described laying off 30 people as his construction firm collapsed as the worst moment of his business life.

Redworth Construction, in Malton, was subject to a compulsory winding-up order after creditors refused to accept a plan he put forward.

Howard Rogers said: “I had to make all the staff redundant as of last week. I am desperately sorry for them. We have all worked together as one big family.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t go on.”

Mr Rogers said his business was another victim of the recent economic downturn, during which the construction industry had been particularly badly hit.

He said: “We wanted to go into a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which meant an independent company would come in and look at the business and the cash flow.

“But we didn’t achieve the full support of the creditors, so we had to cease trading. I believe we could have traded for another two years, but our creditors didn’t think so – that’s why we are in the situation we are in.”

Before the collapse, Redworth specialised in building care homes and enjoyed its most successful year in 2008, securing seven contracts worth £26m.