For most businesses an extra day’s trade is a reason to celebrate – especially one that only happens every four years. 

If you’re a wedding business or a restaurant then February 29th could be a bumper day too with some potential untraditional proposals taking place. 

So whether you are thinking of popping the question or it’s just an additional day of business as usual – you can still find some time to catch up with all the important and interesting business and insolvency news stories from the past seven days.

You can find out what businesses should do if they receive a statutory demand; why increasing CCJs are a good indicator that a business is heading for insolvency; why accountants are the best early warning system for any company and why directors need to be so careful about how they close their companyyou can find these stories and more at our advice centre page.

Torquay United FC

A National League South football club which spent over 100 years in the Football League has gone into administration. 

Clarke Osborne, the owner of Torquay United, said that he was unable to continue to financially support the club due to “circumstances beyond his control”. He has also stepped down as Chairman. 

Osborne has been in charge since 2016 when he bought the club from a fan-led consortium. 

He issued a statement which said: “The prospect of creating a new stadium and commercial facility was the driver for the investment and the excitement to deliver something truly transformative for the club and Torbay. 

“Now is the time for the club, supporters, Torbay community and the local authority to come together and continue on the path to the future. I will assist a change of ownership where and when invented. The detailed plans, proposals and related data for the proposed developments will be gifted to the club as will any time requested to assist in the future planning and development.”

Lightning Fibre UK

An Eastbourne based network operator and internet service provider (ISP) has gone into administration. 

Lightning Fibre Ltd was deploying a new gigabyte speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across parts of Sussex and Kent and like most full fibre network providers were under pressure from rising costs, competition from rivals and the related need to secure a viable level of consumer take-up to satisfy investors. 

Industry analysts have reported that several providers have also recently restructured or scaled-back their building plans but not many have taken the next step and formally entered an insolvency process like administration. 

Harvey Jones

A luxury kitchen company has been sold in a pre pack administration in order to “protect the business while these discussions remain ongoing, to allow us time to reach a successful conclusion.”

Harvey Jones was formed in 1977 and has over 20 showrooms all over the UK although all its kitchens are handmade from their Cambridgeshire headquarters. 

Directors took the decision to pursue administration in order to “protect the business while discussions remain ongoing, allowing us to reach a successful conclusion.

Vince Gunn, Harvey Jones CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with our new owners and investors who will provide us with the support and expertise to accelerate our business transformation and realise the profound potential that underpins the much loved Harvey Jones brand.”

Elan Laser Clinics

A London based laser and skin treatment clinic with four other locations in Liverpool, Leeds, Beaconsfield and Hale Barns has gone into administration and ceased trading. 

Elan Laser Clinics provided a range of skincare, cosmetic and laser hair removal treatments

Despite seeing a quick initial growth, the company incurred significant capital and operating costs while setting up the clinics and developing its brand. The operational costs of the company’s business model, combined with revenue growth that failed to meet expectations, led to unmanageable cash flow pressures. 

35 positions were made redundant and the company’s assets have been marked for sale. 

A statement from directors said: “We built Elan Laser Clinics from the ground and gained an excellent reputation in the sector, rapidly expanding since inception.

“Unfortunately, despite the growth, lower than expected revenue was insufficient to cover operational costs and the business required significant funding to allow continued trading. Despite our best efforts, administration was the only option.”


The largest screened cinema in Ipswich is closing, despite a rebrand in December 2023.

The Omniplex, formerly the Empire Cinema, had not been able to agree the assignment of a leasehold with the landlord of the premises. 

The Empire had gone into administration and closed due to “the publicised challenges for the leisure sector from the impact of Covid-19, rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis”.  It closed along with five other sites in the Uk with immediate effect. 

They were taken over by the Irish chain Omniplex along with the five other Empire sites.

Brauch and DHL Bathroom Supplies

Bathroom distributor Brausch and its sister company DHL Bathroom Supplies are both closing through a creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL) process after directors believed the companies financial problems were beyond the point of recovery. 

First formed in 1985, the company distributed quality bathroom products such as Villeroy & Boch, Keuco and Toto throughout the north west, midlands and southern England as well as Wales. 

A statement from the company said: “As one of the last true specialist distributors, Brausch was looked at affectionately by its clients and respectfully by competitors. This will leave a gaping hole in the upmarket bathroom sector.”

Exim Dance

An award-winning Plymouth dance company has gone into liquidation. 

Exim Dance Company CIC was well known in the city for its community work and dance classes with hundreds of alumni.  Five permanent members of staff have been made redundant as a result. 

A statement from the business said: “It is with enormous sadness that the board of Exim has taken the decision to instruct insolvency practitioners to assist with placing the company into liquidation. 

“It has become apparent in the past few weeks that Exim can no longer function as a going concern, and the board was left with no choice but to follow this course of action.

“We know the impact Exim has had on the lives of so many people in the city and what the effect of its closing will be – that is why this was an extraordinarily difficult decision.”

Founded in 2011, the company provided dance programmes and wellbeing services throughout the area including deprived estates by putting on free sessions.

Tatton Brewery

A family-owned brewery operating in Knutsford will cease trading this week blaming ongoing cost pressures.

Tatton Brewery said it had “come to the end of the road” due to “unprecedented increases in the cost of living, fuel prices, raw materials and many other factors.”  Owner Gregg Sawyer also said he would step back from the company due to family responsibilities.  

A statement from the owners said: “We’ve had a good run, with great times, great staff, great customers and of course great beer.

“We’re truly saddened to be sending out this statement, making us part of the current decline in the industry but we’ve got to call it a day.Thanks to everyone who has supported us on our journey.

“We hope you’ve had some good times doing so. Get out there and get your last pints of Tatton Beer, raise a glass and remember us fondly.”

Shearer Candles

A Glasgow candle factory that has been operating for more than 120 years has announced it is going into voluntary liquidation. 

Shearer Candles announced the news this week to their xx workers. 

The brand has had some high profile customers including George Michael, Janet Jackson and Ed Sheeran. 

Rye Demolition

 A Bedfordshire demolition firm has gone into administration. 

Rye Demolition was founded in 2006 and had many clients and a good reputation in the south east of England and London. 

Their most recent project was on the former St Ann’s Hospital site in North London for the Hill Group.  

One construction analyst said “they were a well known and well respected firm who always tried to do things the right way.”

Spring may be just around the corner but there is still time for your business to make a leap forward in 2024 but only if you make the right decisions now. 

Such as getting in touch with us to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our team. 

They will be able to let you know all the options you have to improve and strengthen your position in the short and medium term but only if you act quickly and arrange your call.