After weeks of desperate negotiations to try to save Cleveland Bridge, time has finally run out for the firm and its workers as it was confirmed that the Yarm Road site will close for good.

The Administrators who have been seaching for a new owner said they had run out of options, saying: "Assurances required from the buyer to confirm their ability to proceed have not been received. Whilst the Administrators will keep this dialogue open, they must prepare for the prospect that the business will cease to trade following completion of final production in week commencing 20 September 2021."

They went on: "With no current viable offers remaining to take the business on, we must now prepare for a property and asset sale. Regrettably, production will finally end on site later this month. Our specialist employment team will continue to work closely with the staff."

The Northern Echo understands that workers were told at a meeting this afternoon that the final lifeline, a bidder who had stayed the course and might have saved at least part of the company has now pulled out.

A letter seen by The Echo tells workers in seven shattering words "we do not have a proceedable offer".

The letter - which seems to be from the union - goes on to say there is interest in the building, but not the production facility.

"We are not in a position to complete on an offer. Not received proof of funds

"Due to this we are looking at a wind down of production. We would need to make the  majority of the staff redundant. We do not know the exact date production will cease."

It said the next meeting was planned  for September 19th.

The brutal truth is that there is no-one left to turn to and the 153 staff left on its books will lose their jobs.

Some will go very soon, probably those on furlough first, but The Echo understands that the business as a whole will fold completely before the end of the month - the last heartbreaking chapter of almost 150 years leading the world in landmark structures.

Read more: Two bids on the table

Only a couple of weeks ago we reported that there were two bids left on the table and that administrators were battling to get the best deal. It seemed that there was hope because at least someone was staying the course and putting their money forward.

But then as time went on and there was no word we started to fear the worst and The Echo reported that two earlier bidders had pulled out and were no longer part of the discussions. One was believed to be a hugely experienced bridge-builder from America and the other a British-based investment group.

Read more:  Uncertainty grows over future of site

We said then that it was unclear what any potential buyer remaining would do - would they want it all or would the assets have to be split, but if there is one remaining bid at least that gave us something - which was better than nothing.

Now our biggest fear has come true. A crushing blow for workers and a bleak future for the vast site where so many careers and reputations were built and where hundreds of familes placed their trust and their livelihoods.