A demolition contractor working on the East Square cinema and restaurants project has saved two people from unemployment.

Decorative image showing Squibb employee Laura Simonelli on site at East SquareSquibb Group has taken on two employees from the previous build contractor, Simons Group, which went into administration last month.

Simons Group employees, Ben Blackburn of Polsteads, Basildon, and Laura Simonelli of Hollands Walk, Basildon, both faced unemployment until Squibb Group stepped in.

Squibb Group Business Development Manager Peter Gilligan said: "We are proud to announce we have been able to step in on the demise of the Simon Group and retain two members of their staff from the local community for administrative duties, which they had already been carrying out to a very high standard.

"We have a special relationship with the council and in turn the local community and if there is anything we can do to retain this bond The Squibb Group will fulfil.

"We welcome Laura and Ben on board for the duration of the contract and are sure they will be an asset for the completion of the project."Laura, 39, said: "I was over the moon when I heard Squibb were taking me on. I really enjoy my job as a banks person and intend to carry on working in the construction industry."

Leader of Basildon Council Councillor Gavin Callaghan said: "I commend Squibb Group for coming forward so quickly to help keep these two local residents in work. This will aid continuity in the contract and sends a very clear message about how we work with our contractors to build strong relationships that benefit our community.

"Basildon Council wants local people working on local projects that are funded by local taxpayers. We are determined to ensure our supply chains continue to source staff locally and I'm pleased Squibb have continued this great work."

"Throughout 2020 residents will see lots of activity around the town centre as our regeneration programme really starts to take shape. This is an exciting time for Basildon."

Diggers started up again today last week and demolition work is progressing in line with the expected delivery programme.

The council is currently working hard on a procurement exercise to appoint a new main contractor to undertake the development of the new cinema and restaurant scheme early in the New Year.

ENDS

Published on Wednesday 20 November 2019