A Chorley timber firm has made nearly 200 people redundant after going into administration.

A sudden and steep downturn in orders has been blamed for the problems at Palgrave Brown, in Railway Road, Brinscall.

The £66million turnover business, which is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of timber engineered products and makes roof trusses, staircases, doors and wooden canopies, went into administration last week.

It has 17 offices throughout the country and employed a total of 491 staff, including 60 in Brinscall.

The company has made 193 people redundant nationally, including 46 people at its Chorley headquarters Administrators BDO Stoy Hayward’s business restructuring division said the company had become a casualty of the house building downturn.

Graham Newton, partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, said: “Palgrave Brown is a casualty of the well-documented contraction of the construction and house-building industries.

“This sudden and steep downturn is at the centre of the company’s current difficulties.

“Palgrave Brown is a well-established business which, through its strong and well deserved reputation, has become one of the leaders in its field in the UK.

“Despite this and following an immediate business review regrettably it has been necessary to make 193 staff redundant.

“We are still working to secure a going concern sale of the business to protect almost 300 hundred jobs.”