Construction giant Carillion has said it has "no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect" after talks failed to find another way to deal with the company's debts.
The stricken company, which employs 20,000 workers across Britain, said crunch talks over the weekend aimed at driving down debt and shoring up its balance sheet had failed to result in the "short term financial support" it needed to continue trading while a deal was reached.
Carillion is a key supplier to the Government and has contracts in the rail industry, education and NHS.
It is also is a partner in Siglion, a joint venture between Carillion, Sunderland City Council and Igloo Regeneration, which is working to redevelop the former Vaux site and also has proposals to regenerate Seaburn.
It is not yet known how the company's collapse may impact on the projects.
Philip Green, chairman of Carillion, said: "This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years.
"Over recent months huge efforts have been made to restructure Carillion to deliver its sustainable future and the board is very grateful for the huge efforts made by Keith Cochrane, our executive team and many others who have worked tirelessly over this period.
"In recent days however we have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision.
"We understand that HM Government will be providing the necessary funding required by the Official Receiver to maintain the public services carried on by Carillion staff, subcontractors and suppliers."