Contractor for Herefordshire broadband rollout ‘ceases trading’

A COMPANY involved in the rollout of superfast broadband in Herefordshire has “ceased trading with immediate effect”.

Fastershire and Gigaclear, the two organisations involved in the rollout of fibre broadband in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, said they had been told about Complete Utilities ceasing trading.

Fastershire, a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties, said it was a priority of Gigaclear, the provider of ultrafast broadband to homes and businesses, to make sites safe.

But Fastershire said its first thoughts were with the company’s staff – with around 300 reportedly told not to go into work on Monday morning.

OTHER NEWS:

The website and social media accounts of Complete Utilities, based in Maisemore between Ledbury and Gloucester, appeared to have been taken down by Tuesday morning.

It came after Complete Utilities said in its annual report for the year ending July 31, 2020, that profits had fallen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The year saw a reduction in turnover from 34,303,961 to £29,928,116,” the report signed on July 29, 2021 by director Steven John Chaplin said.

“The decrease was mainly due to the suspension of work on some contracts due to the lockdown imposed following the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Operating profits fell from £3,737,092 to £528,543. This fall was again mainly due to the Covid-19 outbreak, although the completion of certain contracts has incurred additional costs during the year.”

OTHER NEWS:

Fastershire said Gigaclear had connected nearly 8,931 rural properties in Herefordshire to access a superfast gigabit-capable, full-fibre broadband connection.

But the affect of Complete Utilities ceasing to trade is yet to be fully understood.

“We have been informed that one of Gigaclear’s contractors, Complete Utilities Limited, have ceased trading with immediate effect,” a Fastershire statement said.

“Gigaclear are actively working to understand and manage the consequences that this news will have on their builds in the Fastershire region.

“As a council project, Fastershire’s first thoughts are for the employees of Complete Utilities.

“A Gloucestershire based company, Complete Utilities have done a great deal of work on the ground to support the counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to have some of the fastest broadband in the country.

“Gigaclear have assured Fastershire that their immediate priority has been to ensure that any live sites are made safe and they are working to transfer outstanding commitments to one of their other contractors who are already operating in our region. ”

Fastershire and Gigaclear said they would work hard to minimise any delays to the project.

Hereford Times