Lincolnshire jobs at risk as Kier downsizes due to debts

Dozens of jobs in Lincoln and Lincolnshire are on the line as Kier Group is set to cut 1,200 jobs across the UK in a bid to reduce its debts.

The company is also suspending dividend payments and will sell its housebuilding and property businesses.

In Lincolnshire, Kier is contracted by the County Council to maintain and repair highways. It has offices in Lincoln and Sleaford.

The firm is in up to £450 million of debt and plans to cut 650 jobs by the end of June (mainly at its Bedfordshire head office), with a further 550 jobs slashed in the coming year.

The mounting problems prompted comparisons with Carillion, a former rival that collapsed last year, which affected work on the Lincoln Eastern Bypass project.

Kier also plans to close or sell its recycling and waste-processing operations.

Instead, it wants to focus on infrastructure, regional construction, utilities and road maintenance.

In 2016 Kier also closed its payroll service for schools business, which affected 31 jobs in Lincoln.