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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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New Year Workington jobs boost after sale of Stobbarts

Workington construction firm Stobbarts has been bought out by one of the world’s largest contractors.

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FUTURE HOPES: Stobbarts founder John Stobbart stays on as managing director

International company Jacobs Engineering Group Inc has acquired the majority of Stobbarts’ assets.

The deal is likely to create a substantial number of local jobs.

It marks a major step for Stobbarts Ltd which began life from the back of a van more than 25 years ago.

It has since become a multi-disciplinary company with a 300-plus workforce and an annual turnover of £27 million.

John Stobbart, who will continue in his role as managing director, said: “The whole exercise was to strengthen Stobbarts as a company for the future.

“Joining with Jacobs strengthens our position as a Cumbrian contractor, therefore protecting our employees for the future.

“I was approached by a number of companies who were interested in the business but Jacobs was the best fit.

“Our values and their values are similar and therefore we went into negotiations with them.

“This is a tremendous development for us, enabling us to diversify and give our talented employees the chance to grow their careers.”

Conor Doyle, Jacobs Group vice president, said: “Jacobs has significantly grown its presence in West Cumbria in recent years, and the addition of Stobbarts further expands our resource base and expertise.”

It is expected that the deal will create a substantial number of jobs in the New Year although Mr Stobbart was unable to confirm exactly how many at this stage.

He added: “This will create tremendous opportunities for us as a company. Jacobs is a huge concern.

“It is business as usual but now we have the in-depth support and strength of an international company behind us.”

He said senior management and operatives would remain and no one had been made redundant.

He added: “If anything we will be recruiting more people in the future. How many will depend on how successful we are with future tenders.”

Stobbarts Ltd, which has its head office at Tarn How, Workington and a base at Sellafield, works in construction, civil engineering, nuclear, decommissioning, house building and housing modernisation.

In March last year Stobbarts fought off international competition to win a £58mn contract at Sellafield.

Mr Stobbart said: “This is a real Cumbrian success story. We went from a standing start out of the back of a van about 27 years ago to become a multi-disciplined Cumbrian company with a turnover of £27 million.

“The success is down to hard work and we have always surrounded ourselves with trustworthy, decent local people. A lot of them are still here after 27 years.”

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