Norwich jobs boost for former Connaught staff

A Norwich company has promised to take on 20 of the workers who were made redundant when city council contractor Connaught collapsed.

Some 300 workers lost their jobs last autumn when Exeter-based Connaught Partnerships, which had been awarded a �17.5m a year contract by Norwich City Council, went into administration.

The city council awarded a string of emergency contracts so work would still get done on council homes in Norwich and then handed out short-term contracts, which will run until October.

But, in the longer term, the entire contract will go out to tender, which could see it broken up and given to a number of different companies.

However, separate from that contract, a Norwich company has already won a �9m contract to service and fix boilers and central heating in the city's 16,000 council homes for the next six years.

Gasway, which is based on the Sweet Briar Industrial Estate in Norwich was awarded the contract to service and fix gas boilers on a temporary basis, but has now been handed the long-term job.

And bosses said they would be appointing some of the ex-Connaught staff into a variety of roles with the company, which was the winner of the 2010 East of England Development Agency Positive Work Life Award.

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Barry Ellis, Gasway's director, said: 'We are delighted to be appointed as principal annual gas servicing and responsive repairs contractor for Norwich City Council.

'Our company headquarters are based in Norwich, so both our location and our expertise as gas specialists means we are well suited to supporting the needs of Norwich City Council's tenants.

'In these times of budget cuts, it's good to see the �9m contract appointed to a local contractor which ensures all the money spent stays in the local economy and benefits local people.

'We're also pleased to be appointing 20 ex Connaught staff to management, engineering and administration roles.'

Gasway, set up in 1982, now employs almost 100 people, with a fleet of 60 vehicles.

• Do you know of a Norwich business which is creating new jobs? Call Evening News business reporter Sam Williams on 01603 772447 or email