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Age-old architect calls in liquidators

Friday 30 November 2012 5:00

One of the region’s oldest firms of architects - which has worked on iconic landmarks like Tyne Bridge Towers and Whitley Bay’s Spanish City – has been placed into liquidation.

Gateshead based Mackellar Architecture has blamed current difficulties in the construction sector for its demise, with liquidators citing today’s conditions as tougher than past recessions it experienced in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mackellar’s origins date back to the early 19th Century and the architectural practice of Cackett and Burns-Dick in Newcastle.

Director Neil Barker said: “It is with great regret that the company has been placed into liquidation. From a relatively general portfolio, the practice’s specialisms expanded to include expertise in large scale industrial projects, conservation, railway transport architecture, education, health buildings and housing for public and private bodies.

“The company’s project portfolio included some significant and iconic buildings including the Tyne Bridge Towers, the Empress Ballroom at Spanish City, the Students Union for Kings College Durham University (subsequently Newcastle University), Fire Station, Police Station and Magistrates Courts Pilgrim Street and the Laing Art Gallery.

“In spite of considerable investment in people, training and technology the returns were insufficient to enable the practice to continue.”

Allan Kelly and Gordon Goldie of Tait Walker have been appointed as liquidators following a creditors meeting.

Kelly said: “Having survived the recessions of the 1970s and 1980s the company found the present economic downturn to be too challenging reflecting the current difficulties in the construction sector.”

Before the economic downturn of recent years, Mackellar had a booming order book with overseas clients as well as those closer to home. The company worked on developments in markets across the world, including Taiwan, India, Greece and Turkey.

It was a consultant to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for the architectural and landscape design on New Delhi’s £600m metro project. It also provided design consultancy and services to Railtrack and Nexus on the development of the Tyne and Wear Metro extension.

Enquiries should be made to Tait Walker on .