ATTEMPTS are being made to find a buyer for a County Durham steel company after it went into administration.

Bondshold Ltd, which employs about 80 people at its site in Crook, went into administration just before Christmas.

A takeover of the historic firm fell through at the start of the month.

Clare Boardman and Adrian Berry, restructuring partners at Deloitte, have been appointed and say they are hopeful the company’s reputation will see all or part of it being saved.

North West Durham MP Richard Holden said he is doing everything he can to try and find a buyer for the business.

He said: “Bonds has been in difficulties for some months and the hoped for takeover fell through in early December.

“I’ve been working hard to do what I can for Bonds and its employees since I was elected, including setting up meetings between the chairman and ministers in the Department for Business and have been liaising with the Work and Pensions Secretary about what support can be made available to employees.

“Over Christmas, I have also been linking up people interested in looking at the company with administrators to do what I can, particularly for the Crook facility. I will continue to do all I can to help find a buyer for the business who sees a long-term future in Crook.”

The Northern Echo:

Bonds employs about 80 people at its site in Crook

The company employs a total of 219 people, with other sites in Alston, in Cumbria and Scunthorpe, in Lincolnshire.

Ms Boardman said the group had experienced market challenged through its exposure to the steel sector and operational challenges following the integration of newly acquired businesses.

Bonds dates back to 1868 when it was founded in Tow Law and over its 150-year history has also had bases in Bishop Auckland.

It moved to Crook in 2011, when it bought a 10-acre site, formerly home to the Kenmore plant in Prospect Road.

In 2016 it closed it Tow Law base in response to declining mining industry demand, citing concerns about Brexit, as well as difficulties with oil and gas.

In the same year, it bought the 22-acre foundry site in Scunthorpe to target new international work.

Known for making pump casings and valves for the offshore industry, Bonds has supported the North Sea sector for decades.

However, its history goes much further, back to the Victorian age, to the days of supplying the British Army with cannonballs, while it has also repaired Royal Navy anchors.

Ms Boardman said discussions with interested parties would be ongoing through the Christmas holiday shutdown, with a view to buying a buyer for the business.

She said: “The business is well-known and long established so we remain hopeful that a buyer can still be found for all or parts of it. The administrators would like to thank the group’s employees for their ongoing support at this difficult time.”