New firm takes over Basildon town centre demolition

A NEW firm has taken over a major demolition project in Basildon, after the previous contractor went into administration.

Squibb Group has taken over the demolition of Freedom House, next to East Square, ahead of building works to construct a multiplex cinema and restaurants.

The former contractor, Simons Group, went into administration partway through the project last month.

Basildon Council announced that Squibb had also taken on two local employees from Simons, enabling them to continue working on the project.

The two workers – Ben Blackburn, from Polsteads, and Laura Simonelli, from Hollands Walk – ‘both faced unemployment’ until Squibb stepped in, said the authority.

Peter Gilligan, development manager for Squibb, said: “We are proud to announce we have been able to step in on the demise of the Simon Group and retain two members of their staff from the local community for administrative duties, which they had already been carrying out to a very high standard.

“We welcome Laura and Ben on board for the duration of the contract and are sure they will be an asset for the completion of the project.”

Ms Simonelli said she was ‘over the moon’ at the development.

Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan thanked Squibb for ‘coming forward to quickly to help keep these two local residents in work’.

He said: “This will aid continuity in the contract… Basildon Council wants local people working on local projects that are funded by local taxpayers.”

The council said it was now ‘working hard’ to find a new main contractor for the building of the new cinema and restaurants once demolition is completed.

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Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]