49 jobs lost as historic Willenhall firm enters administration

Almost 50 people have lost their jobs after an historic Willenhall business entered administration.

Laidlaw's base on the corner of Neachells Lane and Strawberry Lane in Willenhall
Laidlaw's base on the corner of Neachells Lane and Strawberry Lane in Willenhall

Architectural products business Laidlaw, which has its headquarters in Strawberry Lane, Willenhall, employed 61 people at four sites across the UK.

But all but 12 of those staff have now been made redundant.

Originally established in 1876, Laidlaw has been providing ironmongery to the UK construction industry for more than 140 years.

The company, which has sites in Willenhall, Bristol, Gateshead and Sheffield, previously entered administration in late 2015 but a £4 million rescue deal saw its then 137 employees keep their jobs.

This time, however, administrators Matthew Ingram and Allan Graham of Duff & Phelps were only able to sell two parts of the company.

The former handrail and balustrades division, also based in Strawberry Lane, was sold to Komfort Partitioning, saving four jobs.

And a further eight jobs were secured with the sale of the Gateshead-based locking systems division to UAP.

The remaining part could not be rescued and has been closed with all 49 remaining staff being made redundant.

"Laidlaw experienced cash difficulties as a result of delays in key projects starting," Mr Ingram said.

"Despite exploring many options to ensure the survival of the company, the continued drain on working capital resources ultimately left the directors with no option but to place the company into administration.

"Our objective was to identify a buyer for the company and its assets in order to provide continuity of service for customers, suppliers and employees.

"Naturally we are delighted that we were able to secure a future for two divisions of the business.

"We will continue to assist the employees impacted by the closure of the parts of the business that sadly could not be saved despite our best efforts.”

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