THE future of Darlington's Cleveland Bridge remains 'unclear' but investors remain 'very interested', it has been claimed. 

Earlier today, administrators called in to help find a buyer for the troubled business said the Covid pandemic was to blame for the demise.

The Northern Echo:

But they say they have already started the search for investors to buy the engineering icon and secure its future.

Administrators said the UK business’ finances have been severely impacted by delays to projects in the UK and internationally as a result of the pandemic, and requires significant further investment.

But speaking this evening, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen told the Northern Echo a range of "potential options" remain on the table but "time will tell" whether a deal can be agreed.

In a statement, he said: "Cleveland Bridge is a hugely important company that employs over 200 highly skilled people, and I will do all I can to save these jobs.

“As a company Cleveland Bridge has a strong order book, which is full for the next 18-months. The investors I’ve been speaking to since flying to London have all said how impressive the company’s work is, this is testament to both the company’s history and the skills of its workers.

The Northern Echo:

“Everyone across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool is incredibly proud of Cleveland Bridge and the work its done down the decades; steel produced by the company is in some of the world’s most recognisable feats of engineering.

"As Mayor I will speak to whoever I have to in order to secure the future of the business, preserve jobs and ensure this iconic company once again thrives.”

Joint Administrators Martyn Pullin, David Willis, and Iain Townsend of specialist business advisory firm FRP have been appointed to help save the business, which has 221 staff at its headquarters in Darlington and an engineering site in Newport, South Wales. 

The business also has 48 contractors in Darlington and around 50 contractors on various sites.