Winter is coming to an end with a last burst of unpleasant weather. 

Hopefully when Spring arrives next month, it will bring in some better fortune for business owners and directors as well as nicer weather!

These will be the perfect conditions to grab a few moments to catch up on all the important and interesting business and insolvency news stories from the past seven days you might have missed. 

If you want to know why accountants are the best look outs SMEs could hope for; why directors shouldn’t ignore statutory demands; why a Time To Pay arrangement could be the perfect solution to HMRC debt and why January saw the highest number of corporate insolvencies in that month for four yearsyou can find these stories and more at our advice centre page.

The Body Shop

Following on from the announcement last week that The Body Shop had gone into administration, there has been some action by the administrators. 

They have announced that seven shops in London and West Sussex are closing immediately and 300 jobs at the head office (40% of employees there) will be made redundant. 

They also announced that up to half of the remaining 191 stores could close in the coming weeks and months while they look to restructure the business and re-emerge stronger. 

A statement from the business said: “After years of unprofitability and following a full evaluation of The Body Shop’s UK business, the joint administrators have concluded that the current store portfolio mix is no longer viable. 

“As an immediate step, seven stores will close today, with additional closures to follow. It is expected that at the conclusion of the restructuring, more than half of The Body Shop’s 198 UK stores will remain open. 

“A reduced store footprint will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies, bringing the brand in line with industry peers and supporting a return to financial stability.”


A Nottinghamshire based packaging firm has gone into administration with 34 positions in doubt as a result. 

Surepak had been trading for over 30 years counting most of the UK’s top supermarkets as clients including M&S, Waitrose, Co-op, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl. 

Directors said that growing overheads including a 425% increase in their electricity bill had seriously impacted their cash flow. This was followed by the loss of two major contracts which also reduced their income by over £1 million. 

They had been served with a winding up petition by creditors forcing the directors to act to protect the company as administration automatically halts all ongoing legal proceedings against a business. 

A statement from the business said: “Our aim is to preserve the business and protect employees’ jobs, in addition to maximising returns for creditors. 

“The company will continue to trade while an accelerated sales process will take place.”

Opening Doors

A London LGBTQ+ charity is closing due to ongoing financial challenges. 

Opening Doors was aimed at supporting older members of various gay, bi and trans communities. 

CEO Bridget Symonds said: “It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the permanent closure of Opening Doors on February 29, 2024.

“Since launching in 2016, we have dedicated ourselves to supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals over 50, addressing their unique needs, isolation and invisibility.

“Despite the relentless efforts of our Board of Trustees and staff to secure a sustainable future for our work, the current economic environment has significantly impacted our funding sources, leaving us unable to continue. 

The charity launched an online fundraiser in November with a target of £120,000 but was unable to meet it. 

Ms Symonds said: “We especially thank those who supported our Emergency Appeal, your efforts have helped us extend our services through the winter months.”

Aspect Facades

A Durham roofing systems company has gone into administration and ceased trading with immediate effect resulting in the loss of 30 positions. 

Aspect Facades specialised in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of cladding and roofing systems across the North of England. 

Facing difficult trading conditions due to delayed projects, this in turn resulted in cash flow difficulties and impacted its ability to operate.

Craft Central at The Forge

A creative crafts charity based on the Isle of Dogs in East London has confirmed that it will be wound up at the end of the month after a period of financial struggles. 

Craft Central was formed in 1970 and moved to its latest venue of The Forge in 2017. 

77 artists currently share and co-work at the space in the Grade II listed building. 

A statement from the trustees said: “It is with great sadness and regret that we are writing to inform you that Craft Central will cease to trade on 29 February 2024. 

“You may be aware that the organisation has experienced extreme financial difficulties since moving from our building in Clerkenwell Green in 2017, which were further compounded by the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic, rising costs, particularly utility bills, and a decline in funding for arts and crafts in the UK.”

A to B Direct and John Dinham Transport

A Bradford based haulage and courier firm has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

A to B Direct has been supplying courier, haulage and parcel delivery services from their Bradford and Dewsbury hubs for over 20 years but made the decision after receiving two winding up petitions in December and January. 

The company operated 14 HGVs and four trailers servicing the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. 

Additionally a family run Bristol haulage firm has also gone into administration. 

John Dinham Transport operated a fleet of 30 heavy goods vehicles and employed 56 workers. They specialised in pallet freight from the South West covering the whole of the UK and Europe.  They also offered storage services and warehousing.

2024 can still be a good year for your business but only if you act now to begin building the essential foundations for success right now.. 

The first one, and the easiest, is to arrange your free initial consultation with one of our advisors

They will get a better idea of where you are financially, where you ideally want to be and the most efficient and effective way to get there – but only if you act and get in touch with us to begin.