A housebuilder will cease operations today and is making 17 staff redundant after nearly 50 years in business.

Cumbrian Homes Ltd, based in Penrith, said it had been in the process of being sold so it could continue trading.

However, it said the buyer was now unable to proceed, with the decision driven in “no small part” by the coronavirus crisis.

The business began in 1971 and was initially a division of a larger civil engineering company, Cumbrian Industrials Ltd, responsible for larger commercial projects and infrastructure development as well as residential housing.

It began working on small developments and conversions and went on to build the award winning Carleton Heights development, in Penrith.

During its time the company worked with British Gypsum to develop new types of building materials and also developed 3D floor plans and designs and 360 degree virtual tours of homes.

Managing director Nigel Pallister said: “I’d like to think we set a precedent for building the highest quality homes, listening to our customers and leading the way in building developments.

“We’ve had a fantastic time and built up an excellent team who we are sad to see go.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, suppliers and valued staff, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Cumbrian Homes have assured current home owners that any warranties are still valid with Local Authority Building Control or the National House Building Council.