Welcome to our regular weekly round up of all the interesting and important business and insolvency news stories you might have missed from the past seven days. 

You can find out what the priorities of each industry are in the forthcoming General Election; why billions of bounce back loan repayments have still to be collected; what accountants and directors need to know about AI and how not taking crucial decision now could mean summertime sadness for some directorsRead all these stories and more at our advice centre page.

Ritchies HGV Training Centre

A Scottish specialist HGV training firm has gone into administration with 36 positions being made redundant. 

Ritchies HGV Training Centre was formed in Glasgow in 1983 offering training for lorry drivers in the haulage industry as well as for construction, plant and forklift operators.

A statement from the company said: “Unfortunately, due to the ongoing downturn of the construction sector and struggling to recover post-pandemic, the company was no longer able to meet its financial obligations. 

“After the directors exhausted all other options, they took the difficult decision to put the company into administration. The assets of the business will be marketed for sale and staff are being supported with help from the redundancy payments service.”

Castle & Crystal Credit Union

A West Midlands based credit union with thousands of members has gone into administration after being declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). 

Over 7,000 savers have accounts with the Dudley based organisation with total compensation for members estimated by the FSCS to be around £2.6 million. 

A statement from the administrators said: “Castle & Crystal Credit Union members don’t need to worry as all of their money is safe – all of their deposits will be returned to them by the FSCS. 

“Savers don’t need to do anything to get their money back. The majority of customers with a deposit will receive a cheque in the coming days. In any case, they will be contacted by the FSCS shortly to advise them of the process and how to access help and assistance with any queries.”

Perkins, Stockwell & Co

A 200-year-old Leicester furniture business has gone into administration. 

Perkins, Stockwell & Co was first founded in 1805 and makes and supplies bespoke furniture, carpets and blinds and announced the decision this week.

Administrators confirmed that the businesses liabilities were far greater than their income which led to the decision. 

Oban Phoenix

A renowned independent cinema in the north west of Scotland has gone into liquidation. 

The Oban Phoenix Cinema had applied to the Scottish Charity Regulator for consent to wind-up due to being insolvent. This was granted and the procedure is being followed carefully. 

The cinema opened as an independent, community-owned cinema in August 2012 and while it has broken even in 2022, had made a £50,000 loss in 2023 which ultimately led to the decision. 

Screenings had been reduced from seven days a week to three from February with working hours for employees being cut back accordingly.

Place 2 Place Logistics

A Staffordshire pallet and warehousing business is going into administration. 

Place 2 Place Logistics was formed in 2013 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and has applied to surrender its HGV operator licence which authorises the movement of 20 HGVs and 22 trailers from their depots.

As a result 56 positions are at risk of redundancy. 


A 130-year-old fancy dress business has filed a notice to appoint administrators. 

RH Smith & Sons (Wigmakers) Ltd, trading as Smiffys, was formed in Leeds in 1894 and sells costumes and accessories for adults and children. The company distributes nearly 7,500 products to over 2,000 stockists around the world with over 26 million items being shipped each year. 

In their latest financial report it was noted that the firm’s current external financing agreement would expire on March 31st with no agreement reached on new borrowing facilities beyond that date.

A statement from the business acknowledged overstocking problems and said: “Following four extremely challenging years as a result of the pandemic, the subsequent supply chain crisis and the ongoing inflationary burden on both businesses and consumers, Smiffys was required to take the difficult decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

“Smiffys will continue to trade and fulfil orders as normal during this time. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our talented Smiffys team and loyal customers for their ongoing support.”

Noble Tree Foundation

A homelessness charity has gone into administration following a dispute with its property fund landlord which saw it refusing to pay rent based on the condition of its properties. 

The Noble Tree Foundation is a tenant for 143 properties owned by Home Reit, a London based real estate investment trust. Home Reit issued a statement to the stock exchange that Noble Tree had entered administration and was not paying rent, some 7% of their rent portfolio.

The charity had already withheld several months’ rent from Home Reit and claimed that it was owed millions of pounds for repairs and insurance that have not been forthcoming. They maintain that some properties were “unfit for people to live in” with issues including black mould and leaking ceilings.  

The Charity Commission had launched a statutory inquiry into Noble Tree last October over alleged conflicts of interest and related party transactions. 

Home Reit was established in 2020 as a property fund tackling homelessness and planned to take 10,000 people off the streets.  At the end of April it had 1,920 properties leased to registered charities and housing associations on leases ranging from 20 to 30 years. 

Homes leased by Noble Tree are let to private rented sector tenants and after the surrender of the charity’s leases, the tenancies will transfer to Home Reit so it can collect income from the properties. 

The company said it was working closely with Noble Tree’s appointed administrator, CBW Recovery, to arrange the surrender of the charity’s leases and a handover of its tenancies. The company said residents of the properties will not be affected. 

Home Reit said it would either re-let the properties to a social housing provider or appoint a property manager which would be responsible for the day-to-day management and rent collection.

Gemini Print

A print company based in Shoreham-by-Sea has ceased trading and gone into administration. 

Gemini Print stated that various factors led to the decision including Covid’s negative impact on trade and inflation leading to a rise in rent and increased energy costs. The board also attributed blame to a substantial debt the company is owed, which is likely to become the subject of legal proceedings. 

A total of 126 employees have been made redundant with immediate effect. 

A statement from the board of directors said: “We are deeply sorry for colleagues affected by this decision but that company has been placed in an impossible situation and has a legal obligation not to trade whilst insolvent. 

“The directors and management have strived in recent months to address the financial issues facing the business but have been unable to secure a solution that would enable the company to continue trading. We fully recognise the impact this will have on staff and their families and every effort will be made to assist them in the days and weeks ahead.”

Nightingale Club

In a blow to the Gay Village in Birmingham, companies behind several of the LGBT venues including The Nightingale are going into administration due to rising debts. 

GB Holdings Ltd which operates venues including the Loft Bar and Kitchen and Nightingale (UK) Ltd which runs the famed nightclub of the same name have both filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

Terence Runcorn, operations chief for GB Holdings Ltd said: “The most important thing to say is that no decisions have been made and we are confident that there will be investment coming in to secure the situation. We’re upbeat that we are in a good position to secure jobs and venues.”

The Nightingale is one of the top gay nightclubs in the UK but has accrued significant debts. 

A third of all UK nightclubs have closed since August 2022 as they face an ongoing struggle to recover from the impact of Covid and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The Christian School 

An independent, faith-based school in Bishops’ Stortford has closed and gone into liquidation after an attempt to continue classes until the end of summer term in mid-July failed. 

The Christian School was a fee-paying, independent establishment founded in 1989 to deliver a Christian faith education. 

A statement from the Trustees said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for us . Our current situation is that we have been prevented from paying staff or any other bills since Thursday May 23rd. 

“It is only through the generosity of our staff, who have volunteered to work unpaid, that we are able to remain open for the GCSE exams and for the pupils over the next three weeks. Despite the willingness of these staff to carry on beyond that point, it is not possible for us to do so. 

Parents of the 38 remaining pupils in the school will have to work with the local council to make alternative arrangements. The statement acknowledged that “the current financial situation is going to feel very unfair to some of you. Given the different fee schedules available, there are varied positions that parents may find themselves in.”

A planned residential trip in July had been cancelled and no refunds were available because “insolvency law is very harsh in superseding any other considerations or contractual obligations.”


An award-winning bakery with three branches in Manchester has stopped trading and closed all their branches with immediate effect. 

Trove had sites in Ancoats, Levenshulme and Wilmslow. 

Owners Marcus and Katie Saide issued a statement saying that they had been “struggling mentally, physically and financially for a while” and kept the business going “when they should have ended it” but still apologised to staff and customers if they felt let down. 

The business started in Levenshulme in 2011 before expanding and opening an industrial premises but their parent company Two Hexagons Ltd was served with a winding up petition by creditors for combined debts of over £1.6 million including £900,000 owed to HMRC and had gone into voluntary liquidation. 

The statement from the owners continued: “It is a very difficult world at the moment especially for small businesses and food producers.”

The good news for directors and business owners is that while their vote is important, they don’t have to wait for the outcome of an election to positively influence their own immediate future – they can do it right now by arranging a free initial appointment with one of our team.

They’ll get a clear understanding of all the options available, how they can be implemented and what other choices and positive decisions they can make to help their business both now and in the longer term.