Darwin Group refunds more than £130,000 in furlough payments

Modular construction specialist Darwin Group has repaid thousands of pounds to HMRC previously claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Artist's impression of the new Lakeside Wing at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
Artist's impression of the new Lakeside Wing at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff

The firm made the decision to furlough certain members of its construction team at the start of the UK’s lockdown to remain in line with the Government’s strict home working directives, as a percentage of its employees could not carry out their work.

Use of the job retention scheme ensured eight construction workers could be retained throughout the pandemic – all of whom have since returned to work at the company’s Shawbury headquarters, near Shrewsbury.

Darwin Group’s in-house team of designers, town planners and construction professionals provide a unique turnkey service that covers all stages of design, planning and construction from start to finish.

The firm has also enjoyed another strong financial year, with an increase in turnover.

Owing to its proficiency in modern methods of construction, Darwin Group was recently appointed to deliver a temporary Covid-19 facility at University Hospital of Wales, following the Welsh Government’s agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to decommission the use of the Principality Stadium as a field hospital.

The off-site experts took the decision to refund all monies claimed through the job retention scheme, believing other firms would be in a far greater need of the Government’s assistance. A total of £136,274.67 was returned to HMRC.

Charles Pierce, managing director at Darwin Group, said: “We are living in unprecedented times and our strong belief in doing the right thing led us to making this important decision.

“We were very grateful for the Government’s assistance in allowing us to furlough and retain our highly-skilled construction team, but realise it is our responsibility to give back following recent new business wins.

“Our board were unanimous on this decision and we are keen to support the Government and economic position of the country.”

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