A HISTORIC firm of architects, which brought Newcastle the Laing Art Gallery and the Tyne Bridge Towers, has become the latest victim of the recession.
Gateshead-based Mackellar Architecture appointed Alan Kelly and Gordon Goldie of Tait Walker as liquidators at a creditors’ meeting.
The firm, which has been forced to make five permanent members of staff redundant, traces its origins back to the early 19th Century and the architectural practice of Cackett and Burns Dick in Newcastle.
Its portfolio includes some of the region’s most significant and iconic buildings including the Empress Ballroom at Whitley Bay’s Spanish City, the students’ union for Kings College Durham University (now Newcastle University) as well as the fire station, police station and magistrates’ court on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle.
The firm’s director, Neil Barker, said that although Mackellar has work in the pipeline, it wasn’t able to secure enough project to deliver sufficient funds as required.
He said that failure to land a key contract for work on the refurbishment of Newcastle’s Central Station “was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back”.
“The problem we experienced was classically cash flow,” he said. “A lot of our projects were being transferred due to financial pressures or lack of available finance.
“I’m attending the opening of our last scheme on Friday (today) in Jarrow, which is a home for people with learning disabilities and other forms of mental illness.
“From the 1920s to the present day, the practice has been as large as 25 people. It has prided itself on providing a very personal service which is difficult to do if you get beyond a certain size. It is with great regret that the company has been placed into liquidation.