MORE than 100 jobs are hanging in the balance after Hampshire specialist building firm, which has been involved in several high-profile projects, went into administration.

More than 100 jobs have already been lost at Winchester-based Lakesmere, which specialises in roofing, cladding, and fascias, after the business ran into trouble following a number of “unprofitable contracts”.

The company, which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015, entered administration last week and is making 109 people out of 241 across the UK redundant.

The company has worked on many landmark projects including the O2 arena in Greenwich, Southampton’s new Westquay extension and the Olympic Stadium in London.

In 2015 the company – which has offices in Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Cannock, Newport, Reading, and London – reported a pre-tax profit of £3.5m and an annual turnover of £118.5m.

Nick Edwards and Richard Hawes from Deloitte been appointed as joint administrators over parent company Graceful Holdings Ltd, Lakesmere Group Ltd, and Lakesmere Ltd.

Mr Hawes said: “Lakesmere Ltd has experienced financial challenges, arising from a number of unprofitable contracts which has resulted in Lakesmere Ltd being placed into administration.

“Unfortunately a number of redundancies have to be made in the UK and we are offering those affected support at this difficult time.”

The management of the company refused to make any further comment on the firm’s decline

Steve Brine  the MP for Winchester, said: “This is awful news and made worse by the timing right before Christmas. I’ve spent time at Lakesmere’s HQ in Winnall and been hugely impressed by the commitment of the team and the specialised skill set they have.

“In the south east especially, many of these skills are in great demand so I am hopeful these jobs can be protected.”

Catherine Turness, executive director at the Winchester Business Improvement District, added: “It is deeply saddening to hear of this new, our thoughts are with the staff during this difficult time.

“It is a tough market, with much uncertainty for businesses to navigate.”

Graceful Holdings Ltd is also parent company to McMullen Facades Ltd and a number of overseas subsidiaries including to Lakesmere International headquartered Dubai.

Deloitte said that McMullen, which is based in Moira, Northern Ireland and employs 275 people was not affected by the administration.

Mr Hawes added: “We are currently assessing the options available, including a potential sale of McMullen Facades Ltd, which is continuing to trade solvently.”

Lakesmere was formed in 1993 following a management buyout by Mark Davey, pictured left, and Geoff Dennis of the the Cladding Division of the Walcon Construction Group Plc.