MORE than 20 jobs have gone after a long-standing Hampshire building contractor plunged in to administration.

Star Mechanical and Engineering Limited, which had been operating in Chandler’s Ford since 1999, has ceased operating amid tough trading conditions.

All 21 staff at the Fryern House headquarters on Winchester Road have been made redundant.

They were a mixture of tradespeople and backroom workers.

Julie palmer, from administrators Begbies Traynor, said the firm had been involved in the prestigious redevelopment of 18th century Roehampton House in London.

But she added that they started to suffer financially during the process and did not have the cashflow to “ride it out”.

The company was also working on a number of other property developments in the capital and had been attempting to complete work on some of their contracts in the run-up to their administration.

Mrs Palmer added that it was unlikely a buyer would now come to the rescue of the 13-year-old business.

“It is a long-standing company and it is always a shame when jobs are lost in a community like this,” she told the Daily Echo.

“Historically, they have been a good, solid, well-run and professional firm and had been dealing with a large project at Roehampton House involving flats and apartments.

“Some final completion works were carried out on a small number of contracts in the run-up to the administration order, but the employees have now been made redundant.

“The construction sector is particularly tough at the moment for sub-contractors and trading has been difficult for some time.”

It is the latest jobs blow to hit the Eastleigh area.

It comes just weeks after B&Q announced that 220 jobs would be going as part of a “restructuring” at the Chandler’s Ford-based firm.

Ford has also announced plans to close its Swaythling plant next July, putting more than 500 jobs at risk.