Happy New Year!

Here’s hoping that 2024 finds you in good physical and mental health and avoiding any of the winter illnesses that seem to save their appearances for this time of year. 

So whether you are back into the swing of your business or building up your strength to begin next week, why not take a few minutes to catch up on all the business and insolvency news stories you might have missed over the break. 

If you want to know why business insolvencies will be at a 14-year-high; what the past and future could hold for business energy prices and why, if you’re thinking of closing, you should consider a CVL then you can find them all here and more.


A Norfolk based haulage firm has gone into administration. 

Lochace Ltd which trades as Bomfords Group had been trading for more than 40 years providing warehousing and goods transportation services.

The owners had sought efforts to secure additional funding but made the “difficult decision” to call in administrators when this proved unsuccessful. They would be unable to continue trading citing “a downturn in the general haulage sector, coupled with high interest rates.”

In a longer statement directors also said that a national shortage of HGV drivers meant it had to stand down between 10% and 20% of its fleet at certain times during the year contributing to the loss of turnover having to use costly agency labour due to recruiting difficulties.

In addition, this led to a significant increase in UK pallet network volumes leading to higher-than-expected local delivery volumes and delays, some of which had been at cost to the firm further eroding margins.

Alpha Nurseries

A company with more than 20 nurseries and out-of-school clubs based in Ipswich has announced the immediate closure of all of its locations. 

Alpha Nurseries opened its first site in 2010 and expanded to other locations in Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Kent and Essex. 

In a letter announcing the decision to pursue a creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL), directors said: “This was an extremely difficult decision and was not taken lightly, however essentially there was no ability for the business to continue to remain open.”

At the time of closure the company operated 21 nurseries employing 250 employees and provided 875 childcare places not including its out-of-school and holiday childcare facility.

WH Barley

A transportation business operating in Milton Keynes for over 53 years has gone into administration. 

W H Barley specialised in logistics, pallet distribution and commercial storage solutions operating a fleet of 130 trucks and 50 trailers. 

A statement from chief executive Emma Barber said: “It is with great sadness that we must share the difficult news. 

“This decision was made after exhausting all available options to sustain the business and it comes with heavy hearts as we acknowledge the impact on our value employees, clients and suppliers.”

Financial challenges and increasing cost pressures had caused Barley and other hauliers “to reach breaking point” with the lead up to Christmas, traditionally a lucrative period for operators the worst since 2008. 

The statement continued: “The decision to take this step has not been made lightly, and it follows extensive efforts to explore alternative solutions for our financial challenges. 

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have reached a point where administration is deemed necessary.

“Freight volumes are down by 10 to 15%. Costs are still rising faster than inflation, profits are meagre and hauliers are saying that customers are not wanting to pay reasonable prices.”

BE Offices

A uk-wide serviced office operator has appointed administrators for its parent group and 11 subsidiaries two years after entering into company voluntary arrangement (CVA) agreements for BE Offices Ltd and 15 subsidiaries. 

BE Offices offered flexible workspaces across London, Belfast, Birmingham and Southampton with options of between 1 to 200 desks with facilities also featuring gyms, indoor golf and garden roof terraces. 

Previous facilities had seen facilities in Marylebone, Canary Wharf and Royal Exchange in London close along with offices in Manchester and Bristol. 

The business had over 500 clients in various industries including employment agencies, financial services and IT. 

A statement blamed “the continuing effects of Covid lockdowns and working from home directives hitting renewals and new business.”


A Leeds based printing business has gone into administration with the immediate loss of more than 600 positions.

Communisis Limited was an integrated marketing services business providing print and mailing services for the UK’s largest financial and public institutions.

Part of the business has already been sold to Paragon Customer Communications safeguarding 581 positions but the closure of the Leeds site along with locations at Liverpool and Cramlington in Northumberland has seen 638 positions made redundant. 

A statement from the company said that the printing sector was being hit by “inexorably declining volumes” in the wake of the emergence of digital technologies while the costs of production are also increasing across the sector. 

A digital transformation programme at the business had also been costlier than expected and combined with the loss of some customer contracts and a restructuring of the company’s US parent business meant that company could no longer continue trading. 


A Worcester based company that provided vital infrastructure for sports events all over the world has ceased trading and gone into administration. 

Cube Management UK Ltd and Cube Modular Ltd, both part of the Cube International Group, have closed after suffering cash flow difficulties as a result of delays to global sporting events following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The companies provided bespoke modular infrastructure for events including ticket offices, temporary accommodation and office spaces, fan zones and pop-up retail stores. 

A statement from the business said: “Considerable interest was generated around a whole sale of the business and assets but unfortunately this has not been possible. The administrators are now focused on the realisation of assets for creditors.”

Copper & Ink

A popular south London restaurant run by MasterChef finalists is closing after five years of service. 

Copper & Ink opened in 2018 in Blackheath, was opened by 2015 finalist Tony Rodd and his partner Becky Cummings. They were joined by head chef Rob Parks who himself was a MasterChef 2015 semi finalist. 

Tony and Becky issued a statement saying the decision was a result of continued financial difficulties caused by Covid, increasing energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis. 

They said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the immediate closure of Copper & Ink. We have agonised over making this decision and spent much of the Christmas break trying desperately to find a way to save the restaurant, but to no avail. 

“We know you have felt this too, which has resulted in less guests coming through our doors, making running a business untenable.

Whether you’ve made any official resolutions for 2024 or are pursuing longer identified goals, getting some professional and impartial advice will be one of the smartest decisions you make this year. 

Get in touch with us to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our team of advisors today and they’ll be able to let you know what decisions you can make, starting straight away, to improve the outlook for your business and how 2024 can be the most important one for you and your company.