Local politicians had been optimistic that a buyer could be found to rescue Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge, which had a proud record of engineering feats, including working on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Wembley Stadium arch and London’s Shard skyscraper.
Administrators were brought in in July to find a buyer for the firm, which until recently employed around 200 people.
GMB union organiser Chris Preston said: “The administrator has informed us the only interested party in purchasing the site as a going concern has so far failed to provide the proof of funds to proceed with the sale.
“Unless this position changes in the coming days – which appears highly unlikely – they are now preparing to issue notice to employees in the coming weeks, once they cease production on the current work on site.
“There are currently around 100 staff working on site and around 30 currently on furlough – 53 staff were made redundant last month.
“GMB met with members after the announcement. It’s a devastating blow to the loyal and skilled workforce of both Cleveland Bridge and the local area.
“We will meet with members again on September 13 to discuss next steps.”