All 722 staff at the South Lanarkshire construction firm have been sent home, but more than 200 of them will be recalled to complete work on the order book, reported Construction News.
Sister firm RJT Pennant has also been placed in administration.
The companies are the main parts of the Harte Construction Group, which has been operating since 1974, and undertook civil engineering and groundworks projects across Scotland. A separate company, RJT Excavations Limited, is not a part of the process. Accountants and business advisers PKF have been appointed to both companies.
PKF said turnover at the Harte Group is down by more than half and the company has been saddled with “considerable levels of bad debt from creditors who themselves have gone bust”. Although revenue peaked in 2007/08 at £102m, it dropped to £40m over the past two financial years.
Anne Buchanan, corporate recovery partner at PKF, said: “The downturn in the construction sector means that the business is no longer able to operate and, unfortunately as a consequence, around 500 of the employees within the Harte Group are being made redundant. In its heyday, Harte was ranked among the top 25 civil engineering companies in the UK said Construction Enquirer.
She said: “The firm has experienced a severe reduction in turnover as well as considerable levels of bad debt from creditors who themselves have gone bust.
“Despite shedding jobs over the last few years to cope with this decline in turnover the firm is now unable to continue trading.”