Palgrave Brown, the UK’s largest roof truss manufacturer, has revealed it made 70 people redundant as part of a package of measures to combat the housing downturn.

The company joins a lengthening list of timber companies supplying the construction sector that have cut jobs or failed. Palgrave Brown, which is based in Brinscall, Lancashire and employs 520 people, said cuts were made across its national network of 18 sites.

Managing director Gordon Donald said: “The housing market downturn and credit crunch is affecting the whole industry and regrettably we are not exempt,” said managing director Gordon Donald. “It’s a challenging market and, like many others, we have taken the necessary step and adjusted our cost base accordingly and we will continue to monitor the position.”

He added: “Although the market conditions are difficult, we are very much holding our own and, in fact, gaining market share as smaller and weaker players find it more difficult to cope.

“We are also proactively developing new market areas, particularly with I-beams and SIPs panels, which allow for high performance installations that save money on site.”