R Durtnell & Sons ceases trading

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R Durtnell & Sons,

The family-owned and run building firm, R Durtnell & Sons Ltd, which was founded in 1591, has ceased trading

R Durtnell & Sons Ltd was the contractor working on the major refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.

Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We have taken back the site and made it secure. We are committed to completing the refurbishment of these unique buildings to protect their long-term future in the cultural heart of the city.

“Over the coming days, we’ll be exploring practical options for continuing and completing these essential restoration works as soon as possible and taking forward the wider Royal Pavilion Estate project.”

It says it is still committed to completing the £22m refurbishment of the theatre buildings and will now be “exploring practical options” for the essential restoration works as soon as possible.

The council added: “The project will develop, deepen and broaden the cultural tourism offer of Brighton & Hove and significantly contribute to the city’s cultural and economic wellbeing. It is anticipated that the revitalised Royal Pavilion Estate will support 1,241 FTE jobs and have an economic impact of up to £68m.”

Since construction work began in February 2017, the project has experienced several unforeseen issues on the historic site. A Quaker burial ground was uncovered in August 2017, with human remains excavated by a team of archaeologists, and structural issues have been discovered with the Corn Exchange’s 200-year old wooden frame and roof trusses.

Ron Roser, chairman of Caxtons, commented: “It is – quite literally – the end of an era when one of the UK’s oldest companies, and the oldest building firm announces that it is stopping the part of its business, for which it is most well-known.

“Durtnell is justifiably admired for the high quality of its construction and refurbishing work and will be very much missed at the specialist, higher end of the market, where it has a most impressive client base.

“We, at Caxtons, wish Alex Durtnell and his family the best of luck for the future with the continuing parts of their business.”

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