Fife Council terminates housing contracts weeks after construction firm ‘mistakenly’ sacked workers

Fife Council has terminated housing contracts with a Dunfermline firm – weeks after the company “mistakenly” sacked its workers.

The local authority has taken control of sites in Lochore, Lumphinnans, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy where more than 200 affordable homes were being built by First Endeavour LLP.

The council confirmed it has pulled the contracts because no work has taken place on the sites since December.

Just days before Christmas, The Courier reported how First Endeavour had told about 30 builders they were being made redundant.

Fife Council ‘regrettably’ terminates First Endeavour housing contracts

The company insisted this had been sent by mistake after an “administrative error” and apologised to staff, who were told to expect their wages as normal.

However, no work has taken place on the sites since.

Fife Council took control of the sites on Thursday.

A spokesperson said: “The council has regrettably terminated contracts with a major housebuilder to build 203 affordable homes at sites in Lochore, Lumphinnans, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.

“Construction work on the sites operated by First Endeavour LLP halted in December 2023 and from today, Thursday, Fife Council has secured control of the sites.”

Fife Council terminate First Endeavour Contract
First Endeavour site in Kirkcaldy. Image: Neil Henderson/DC Thomson

Asked to explain the move, the spokesperson added: “The termination of contracts is based on First Endeavour LLP’s failure to proceed with the works.

“Work on the sites halted in December 2023.”

Councillor Judy Hamilton, housing spokesperson, said: “This is a very unfortunate situation for all involved and not the outcome we would have hoped for.

“Contracts will be dealt with through the council’s procedure and, moving forward, we need to ensure that these much-needed new council houses can be built and allocated with the minimum of delays.”

Councillor Judy Hamilton has condemned those involved in the violence.
Councillor Judy Hamilton. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

In its letter to workers in December, First Endeavour said jobs had been terminated with “immediate effect”.

Bosses claimed a delay in payment from Fife Council meant they could not cover staff wages.

Workers said they initially thought they had been the victim of a prank.

But James Methven, First Endeavour group development director, later claimed the letter had been issued by the firm in error.

The Courier has approached Mr Methven and First Endeavour about the termination of the contracts.

Kirkcaldy | The Courier | News