Staff made redundant as modular builder collapses

Timber-frame volumetric specialist Lighthouse has gone under, with all 113 staff members losing their jobs following a failed bid to sell the business.

The specialist, which was based in Sheffield, struggled with cashflow issues. The business behind it, IDMH, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last month.

It has now appointed administrators from FRP Advisory to oversee its assets, according to a statement published by FRP. Richard Goodall and Martyn Rickels have been appointed as joint administrators.

“[Lighthouse] has suffered cashflow pressures in recent months and efforts to secure a sale of the business and assets has unfortunately been unsuccessful,” the statement said.

Staff will be supported with their claims to the government-run Redundancy Payments Service.

FRP Advisory will also look to “maximis[e] returns for [Lighthouse’s] creditors”.

IDMH, which rebranded as Lighthouse in 2023, manufactured timber-frame volumetric modular houses, apartments and bungalows from a factory in Sheffield.

It was initially formed in 2020 to take over the assets of Liverpool-based builder Ideal Modular Homes, which collapsed during the Covid pandemic despite receiving a Coronavirus Business Interruption loan.

Tom White, chief executive of Lighthouse, had been a board member of Ideal Modular Homes, and previously worked for financial services company JP Morgan.

Lighthouse reported £10.5m of current assets in its latest unaudited accounts, covering the year ending 30 November 2022. But it chose not to include a profit or loss in its accounts.

That year, it owed creditors £14.9m, up from £6.5m the year prior.

Lighthouse gave evidence to a House of Lords inquiry on modern methods of construction back in November.

In its evidence, it said volumetric modular builders like Ilke Homes collapsed due to “company-specific issues” rather than just macroeconomic factors.

“Such closures are not necessarily representative of general sectoral impediments,” the firm said.

It also told the inquiry it expected to build 650 new homes in 2024 and more than 1,000 in 2025.

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