An auction date has been set to sell off the contents of the Cleveland Bridge factory.

After a global search by a team of administrators from FRP failed to find a buyer willing to take on a £21million mountain of debt and turn the business around, the final death sentence was passed as a statement said: "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."

The Northern Echo: Cleveland Bridge machinery in useCleveland Bridge machinery in use

Now we know that the property and asset sale will be on Wednesday November 10 from 10am. The event, run by property consultancy service Sanderson Weatherall from its Leeds office, will be online only but from 9am to 4pm the day before, the gates of the Yarm Road site will be opened for potential buyers.

Read more: One of the final Cleveland Bridge structures leaves factory 

To make sure they are serious about bidding, all will have had to register their basic  bank details beforehand and will be expected to wear full PPE like hard hats and hi-vis jackets as they tour the factory and hundreds of assets.

The Northern Echo: Inside Cleveland BridgeInside Cleveland Bridge

The sale is described as "Heavy fabrication and metalworking machinery and equipment, including welding, shotblast, machine tools, containers, lifting equipment and vehicles." With a deposit of 25 per cent, buyer's premium of 15 per cent and 20% VAT to be added, there will be expected to be some hefty sums being exchanged.

The whole tragic collapse has only happened over a few shocking weeks, so buyers know most of the equipment was operated until very recently so will be well-maintained and ready for use.

Potential buyers are warned "All lots are sold as seen and where lying. It is assumed that all bidders have viewed lots to their satisfaction prior to bidding.

Read more: Furious backlash after closure confirmed

"No allowance of any kind whatsoever will be made as a result of failure to view. We strongly advise bidders not to bid on any lot if they have not viewed to their satisfaction first."

All sold lots must be paid for in full within 48 hours of the invoice date and will be cleared from the site by 4pm on Friday December 3. 

The sale will be a bitter moment for more than 150 workers who have had their lives turned upside down by the sheer speed of the financial crash, the calling in of adminstrators, the failure of the search for a buyer and now this last option.

The need to make some money by selling off the kit they had worked on all their careers will be devastating, but is the only choice left. The final glimmer of hope is that workers with huge amounts of experience will continue to be snapped up by other companies and that the purchase at the auction of enough machinery and vehicles may mean a smaller operation is possible in the region.

But even that small hope is now fading fast as Cleveland Bridge looks set to be confined to a paragraph in text books, a module on finance courses or an impressive exhibit in a museum foyer rather than what it used to be - a goliath of the industry reshaping cities around the world.


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