Uncertainty hangs over the future of North East construction giant Tolent after staff and subcontractors reported being sent home early on Friday (February 10).

The Gateshead-based firm is behind a series of major projects across the region, including Durham’s £84.5m Milburngate project, the £41.4m Vaux housing development on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland, and a £5.4m regeneration of Bedlington Town Centre in Northumberland.

Employees and subcontractors were sent home early at lunchtime on Friday, The Northern Echo understands, with the firm’s head offices reportedly shut down.

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Some staff and subcontractors told The Echo the company was preparing to file for administration.

The Northern Echo: File photo: The Milburngate, Durham development in 2021.File photo: The Milburngate, Durham development in 2021. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

No official confirmation of the situation has yet come from Tolent. The Echo has attempted to contact the firm for more information.

The firm reported a £4m loss in 2021 despite increasing its turnover to almost £200m.

Tolent said the collapse of developer High Street Group, whom it carried out construction of the Hadrian’s Tower skyscraper development in Newcastle for, was partly to blame.

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The firm has been working on the Milburngate project in Durham, which will bring a host of bars, hotels, office space and apartments to the city.

In 2021 it also carried out £9.1m worth of schemes for the NHS and an £8.5m scheme to refurbish student accommodation in Newcastle and Nottigham.

It comes just a day after reports that Newcastle-based contractors Metnor Construction also filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

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