What important stories have broken this month?

The first month of 2023 has nearly ended and whether it’s been a dry one or business has started like a rocket, there’s been a lot of other news happening. 

Here’s your chance to catch up with all the rest of the business and insolvency stories from January 2023 that you might have missed.

Whether it’s businesses going into administration, liquidation or restructuring their debts with a CVA – you will find them all here. 


UK regional airline FlyBe has gone into administration for the second time in three years leaving hundreds of passengers without flights and thousands of staff unsure of their futures. 

A statement read in the High Court said: “Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights from and to the UK operated by Flybe have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. 

“Passengers due to fly with Flybe should not travel to airports unless they have arranged alternative flights with another airline. Please note Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”

After going into administration as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in March 2020, the business was purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco which renamed itself Flybe Limited and was based at Birmingham Airport. 

The government said its immediate priority would be to support anyone trying to get home and those who have lost their jobs. 

A spokesperson said: “This remains a challenging environment for airlines, both old and new, as they recover from the pandemic, and we understand the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff.”

Byron Burger

The owner of Byron Burger and Mother Clucker restaurants have been bought in a pre-pack administration which will see the closure of nine branches including those in Manchester and Leeds with the loss of 218 positions. 

Famously Proper owned 21 casual dining burger restaurants across the UK but had faced “significant challenges to trading” over the past year due to rising food costs and falling consumer spending. A lack of solvent offers for the company led them to file for administration which then resulted in the sale of the business and certain assets to Tristar Food limited. 

A spokesperson said: “Like many other companies across the hospitality sector, Byron had seen a boost in trading following the end of the Covid lockdown measures. However the sky-high inflation seen in 2022 saw costs spiral and resulted in reduced consumer spend which in turn placed significant cash flow pressure on the business. 

“The sale will see the Byron name continue to trade on high streets across the country and importantly, will preserve a significant number of jobs.”


The battery startup company that was due to build a mega factory at Blyth, Northumberland has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 300 positions. 

Efforts to build the facility had stalled in recent months as the business struggled to find additional funding to pursue the project. A spokesperson said: “due to insufficient equity investment for both the ongoing research it was undertaking and the development of its sites in the Midlands and North East England. 

“Britishvolt provided a significant opportunity to create jobs and employment, as well as support the development of technology and infrastructure needed to help with the UK’s energy transition. It’s disappointing that the company has been unable to fulfil its ambitions and secure the equity funding needed to continue.”

The company had asked for a £30 million advance on government funds last year but were denied along with two further requests.

Administrators will assess the company’s assets including intellectual property and research to find buyers which will raise money to pay creditors. 


The stationary shop first founded in 1968 is preparing to appoint administrators ahead of a potential pre-pack administration deal.

A spokesperson for the business said: “We are exploring strategic options including the sale of the business as a going concern to new owners. Talks are continuing with a number of interested parties and all stores and the website will continue to trade as normal during this period.  

The company closed 37 branches in January 2021 in an effort to control costs “in a smaller and more streamlined manner” 

Shaws the Drapers

First founded in 1916, Shaws the Draper which sold curtains and home goods in its 28 shops in England and Wales has gone into voluntary liquidation with the loss of 150 positions. 

Owner Philip Shaw said that they hoped to restructure the business after a challenging year but decided that it was no longer viable. 

He said: “After 100 years of trading, this hasn’t been an easy decision for us to make, and we fully appreciate the consequences, but the business simply isn’t viable and we cannot see a way of making it so.”

Bobby Charlton Soccer and Sports Academy

The company which ran the Bobby Charlton soccer schools program which is credited with discovering David Beckham along with others has gone into voluntary liquidation. 

According to the London Gazette, a total of £40,000 was owed to creditors at the time with 75% of this being an outstanding bounce back loan owed to Lloyds Bank. 

A spokesperson confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic hit the company hard as most of its students were made up of young people who would travel to the UK from abroad to take part in its residential courses. 


Ambroplastics, a 60 year old company that made protective equipment during the pandemic has appointed liquidators to wind up the business voluntarily through a creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL).

The business manufactured protective face visors for key workers and other PPE dispatching more than 700,000 units with orders for one million more. 

23 positions were made redundant as a result.  

A spokesperson confirmed that the sole director of the business had proved that the company could not continue its business by reason of its liabilities and accordingly that it would be wound up voluntarily. 

Kuti’s Brasserie

A well known Southampton restaurant that used to employ the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has gone into voluntary liquidation. 

The owning company Joytun Bari Limited went into liquidation meaning the iconic restaurant located in a Grade II listed building at the Royal Pier gatehouse has had to follow. 

Owner of the multi award winning restaurant Kuti Miah said: “Times are tough at the PM’s old workplace. 

“Rising prices have made it difficult for this place to break even. In 42 years, this is the hardest time I’ve gone through. All the electricity has gone up, gas has gone up and we cannot pass this onto our customers.”


Gateways Event Limited which organised events such as the Gateways Festival and the Great Yorkshire Dales Proms have gone into liquidation. 

A spokesperson said: “Gateways have faced considerable financial challenges and have worked very hard to resolve these. Unfortunately the financial failure of StagedUK and Festickets has directly damaged the viability of Gateways.”

“There are ticket holders who understandably remain dissatisfied but regrettably, some have taken to online abusive behaviour even to the extent of death threats. Any such occurrences will be referred to the police for full investigation.”

StagedUk were suppliers of festival staging who suffered financial problems and ceased trading in July 2022 despite Gateways paying them a deposit. 

This led to Gateways being forced to postpone an event for over a year.  During this time the company’s ticket agent Festicket also went into administration which further impacted Gateways and their ability to stage events. 

Despite further attempts to secure additional funding and investment, the directors were unsuccessful so ultimately had to make the sad decision to close down the business. 

ODX Innovations

Inverness based medical technology company ODX Innovations has gone into administration with the loss of 38 positions. 

A spokesperson said: the company had run out of money despite directors having done everything they could to keep it going. 

They said: “The directors did everything they could to keep the business afloat but unfortunately the company did not have the funds to continue and as a result administration was unavoidable.”

Administrators will be looking to find a buyer for the whole business that would hopefully secure the work done so far. 

The company was involved in the development of devices that help detect antibiotic resistance in urinary tract infections (UTIs) that would speed up diagnosis and treatment, decide whether treatment is necessary and reduce antibiotic use. 

The company was founded as a spin out from the University of St Andrews in 2016 as Orbital Diagnostics and was unable to raise additional funding from investors to continue their work. 

VeloVixen and Milltag

Women’s cycling clothing brand VeloVixen has announced it has entered liquidation citing the cost of living crisis, inflation and the post pandemic downturn relentlessly affecting the cycling industry. 

Co-founders Liz and Phil Bingham said “an unprecedented number of adverse forces” contributed to the inevitable decision to cease trading including the increased costs of products and energy bills, changes in customer behaviour and a rise in advertising rates. 

Founded in 2012 just after the London Olympics, they aimed to provide premium cycling clothing for fashion-conscious female cyclists as well as creating a hub for women’s cycling in the UK. 

A statement from the founders said: “We are so proud to have created such a thriving community and trusted hub for women’s cycling over the years. Unfortunately, in recent months an unprecedented number of adverse forces have conspired against us. 

“Despite every effort, they have ultimately made it impossible for a small family business like ours to continue. 

They are not the only cycling clothing brand to have closed their doors this month. 

Milltag have announced that they have gone into voluntary liquidation.

Formed in 2010 to manufacture exciting cycling designs, they also made designs for the leaders of the Tour De Yorkshire event and the Tour of Oman as well as West Ham United and Transport for London with specific line-themed apparel. They also produced cycling kits based on specific bands such as The Pixies, Madness and Motorhead. 

Orchard House

Fruit and juice supplier Orchard House has gone into administration closing factories across the UK and making over 500 positions redundant as a result. 

The company was the biggest employer in Corby, Northamptonshire with five factories based in the town alone and also had premises in Gateshead. 

A spokesperson for the business said: “Economic conditions have proved incredibly challenging for many businesses operating in this sector. Despite management’s best efforts to find a long-term solution for the business, challenging trading conditions have meant the difficult decision has been taken to appoint administrators.”

Sonner Toys

Sonner Toys based in Portsmouth has closed following the compulsory liquidation of its parent company Sonner Collectibles. 

The shop opened in 2018 and was started by Director Harry Strevens when he was only aged 17. He blamed soaring costs and supply chain issues which led the business to fail. 

Another Sonner shop in Salisbury closed in November due to issues with landlords and the company’s preorder model which led to unpredictable waiting periods leading customers to cancel their orders after the business had already bought specific products. 

Mr Strevens said: “We had things very much under control then we suddenly started drowning. The only thing that I wanted to do was sell toys. 

“I fear that many independents may find themselves in this situation as recession looms. Honestly, it’s horrific out there.”

CF Manufacturing

A West Midlands company which built commercial cooking equipment primarily for Indian restaurants has gone into voluntary liquidation this month.

Directors of CF Manufacturing, trading as Cater Flame, confirmed the decision following a general members meeting which passed a resolution to wind the company up as soon as practically possible. 

The business also provided stainless steel goods including preparation tables, shelving and tandoori ovens.

Middletons Mobility

Bristol based wheelchair and scooter retailer, Middletons Mobility, has gone into administration with the loss of 71 positions. 

The business had 17 stores located across the South West of England. 

A spokesperson for the business said: “The company has been experiencing trading difficulties since expanding its store network prior to the impact of Covid-19. 

“Trading has also been affected by the cost of living crisis as well as supply chain disruption and despite management’s best efforts, it has not been possible to save the business.”

Tom Powell, founder of Middletons issued a statement which said: “I would like to sincerely apologise to all our staff, customers and suppliers impacted as a result of the company going into administration. 

“Like many retailers we have experienced rises to input costs, difficult supply chains and at the same time falling consumer confidence. 

“Middletons was unable to adapt quickly enough to these challenging trading conditions or to meet the additional financial demands placed upon it, and so it is also a very sad day personally that nearly 10 years after opening our first store, we close the doors for the last time.”

Eve & Ranshaw

One of the UK’s oldest department stores has announced its closure after trading for 240 years. 

Eve & Ramshaw based in Louth, Lincolnshire first opened in 1781 and was one of the oldest independent, family run department stores in the country. The online store is closing immediately with the business set to close its doors for the last time on Saturday 4th March. 

A statement issued from the retailer said: “It is with a heavy heart that we close after 240 years of service in Louth. 

“In recent years we have faced some challenging times with changes in customer shopping habits, lockdown closures, rising business costs and the current cost of living crisis. Regrettably, it has now reached a point where the department store is no longer viable.

Cook and Lucas

Frozen food business Cook & Lucas (UK) Limited has entered administration. 

The company was an established importer, processor and supplier of seafood and whitefish, operating a smokehouse and processing plant in Grimsby. 

The business went into administration, immediately ceasing operations with the loss of 80 operating positions. 


International fairtrade company Traidcraft PLC announced it is going into administration. 

In a letter to partners explaining the situation directors said “the business has been in a weak financial position for some years and the pandemic presented a significant new set of challenges. 

“Just as we were emerging from the pandemic, like many other retailers, we faced the combined effects of the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices and increased transport costs.”

Traidcraft PLC is the trading arm of the Traidcraft Foundation and despite “heroic efforts from our staff at out Gateshead headquarters, low consumer confidence during the critical autumn trading period led to a sales result significantly short of what was required to sustain the operation. December sales were also negatively impacted by the uncertainty created by Royal Mail strikes.”

The directors appointed administrators as they felt it was “the only honourable course of action, to minimise the impact on our suppliers and creditors.

“It is heartbreaking to bring the Traidcraft plc story to an end in this manner but we can at least take some consolation from the knowledge that we have been a major force for good in the ethical retail sector for over forty years.”

Traidcraft was established by Richard Adams as a faith-based organisation in Newcastle in 1979. Since then Traidcraft worked with more than 100 producer groups in more than 30 countries around the world.

Hopefully 2023 has got off to a strong start for you and your business but don’t worry if it’s been a bit of a struggle. 

There is enough time to make the changes needed to turn 2023 into a good year but only if you make the most of it and act. 

We offer a free initial consultation to any business owner or director who wants some practical and impartial advice on how they can improve their financial situation. 

After talking with one of our expert advisors, they will better understand what they can do in the immediate, short and medium terms to bring about positive change. 

Every business is different and the goals and objectives of the directors also differ but the one thing they all have in common is the quicker they get in touch, the sooner they can begin to benefit.