Has it really only been a week since the General Election was called for July 4th? Because it feels like it’s been a month already and there’s another five weeks to go. 

So important though it is, if you’re looking for a break from electioneering then you can catch up with all the interesting business and insolvency news stories from the past seven days you might have missed.

In keeping with the theme you can find out why MP’s are angry at the treatment of small businesses by their lenders; 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.


Sports Direct, owners of fashion retail brand USC have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators for the brand. 

According to analysts, they are hoping to close 30 of their 90 UK stores. 

USC was acquired by Sports Direct in 2011 and was merged with another brand called Republic which Sports Direct purchased out of administration in 2013. 

USC went into administration in 2015 with the closure of one of its warehouses and several stores. USC was then bought out of administration by Republic Retail Limited, another Sports Direct holding company, to allow it to continue trading.

Mona Dairy

An Anglesey cheese plant is considering its financial options after failing to secure sufficient short-term funding to keep functioning in its current form. 

Mona Dairy opened two years ago at Gwalchmai on the island focusing on making Welsh and continental cheeses and was supplied with milk by about 30 farms in the region.

They said it had arranged for another operator to take milk from their current suppliers while they consider their options.

Mona Dairy set out to establish itself on a model of paying a premium rate for milk for farmers, while running the operations in a carbon-neutral manner. 

Chief executive Ronald Akkerman said: “The shareholders will be working tirelessly over the next few days to secure the best outcome for everyone involved in the Mona Dairy project. 

“We remain hopeful we can secure the plants future and our priority is to secure a safe home for our farmers and our loyal, dedicated staff.

“We have tried our hardest to deliver the best and most modern, environmentally sustainable cheese processing plant for our farmers and for Wales and are devastated that we could not get it over the line. We were so close but close has not been enough.

“We thank all of the many people who came with us on our journey and are truly sorry we have come up short.”

Age UK West Cumbria

A national care charity for seniors is closing seven stores and its local services over financial challenges. 

Age UK West Cumbria said it was “sad and disappointed” to have to stop its services and will cease trading at its seven shops in the region on May 31st 2024 saying that its number one priority was now to look at how it could be of support elderly people in the area. 

The stores affected are in Workington, Egremont, Cockermouth, Whitehaven, Wigton and Cleator Moor. 

The charity’s deputy chief executive Nicola Martin said: “Age UK West Cumbria has faced a number of financial challenges and unfortunately the board of trustees have made the difficult decision to cease operating. 

Acknowledging that it would be “upsetting for the people it supported, its staff, volunteers and stakeholders”, she continued “we are sad and disappointed that it has come to this.”

Collectively the stores employed 52 salaried staff and had 90 volunteers.

Red Cat Brewing

An award winning Hampshire based brewery is going into voluntary liquidation. 

Red Cat Brewing Ltd was formed in Winchester in 2013 by Iain McIntosh and Andy Mansell, two former landlords. Their “Mr M’s Porter” was voted CAMRA Champion Porter of Britain in 2018 and also won at the 2015 Salisbury Winterfest. 

A statement from the business issued on social media said: “Red Cat Brewing has entered administration and we would really like to thank everyone who has been with us along the way during the journey. 

“However, like many others, unfortunately we didn’t make it. I’m sorry for the radio silence but there has been lots to do in the best interests of the company.”

UK craft breweries are facing tough times at the moment with 45 becoming insolvent in the last financial year 2023/24, up 200% from the 15 recorded by the Insolvency Service in 2022/23. 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

One of the UK’s major cancer charities providing support has announced it is closing due to “insurmountable” financial challenges. 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, a national charity dedicated to eliminating cervical cancer, was founded in the year 2000 by James Maxwell after his wife Jo died from cervical cancer aged 40.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust went on to become a regular presence in GP surgeries, hospital wards, salons and living rooms as the charity raised awareness of the disease. 

The charity says it has helped thousands of people in the last 24 years, from launching vaccination schemes for human papillomavirus (HPV) to encouraging people to get cervical screenings. 

A statement was issued from the charity which said: “It is with great sadness that we must announce the closure of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, effective immediately.

“For over two decades, our organisation has been at the forefront of cervical cancer awareness, education and support for individuals and families impacted by this devastating disease.

“However, despite our unwavering commitment and dedication, the financial challenges we face have become insurmountable, leading us to the difficult decision to place the charity into insolvency.”

They confirmed that their support services including telephone hotlines and online forums would cease immediately and other services such as printing has already stopped as “coronavirus has had a significant impact.”

Mercian Cycles

A cycling retailer that has been trading for over 75 years has announced it is going into voluntary liquidation. 

Mercian Cycles was founded in 1946 both designing and producing steel frames for bicycles. 

Frequently named as one of the most skilled and esteemed British manufacturers, their eccentric colours and distinctive designs have attracted a cult following in the UK and USA from cycling fans. 

But with UK bicycle sales at a 39-year-low, Mercian Cycles are placing the company into a creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL). 

Supernova Events and Esports

The company that runs the popular Insomnia Gaming Festival has gone into voluntary liquidation. 

Supernova Events and Esports Limited, was a subsidiary of Supernova Capital which purchased both Insomnia and Player1 Events from UK retailer GAME in 2021. Player1 was the group that arranged Insomnia events held twice a year at the NEC in Birmingham which attracted thousands of gamers.

It is unlikely that the next scheduled Insomnia event which was due to take place in September 2024 will take place nor will RuneFest 2024. another festival advertised by the company to take place at the same venue and same time. 

Island Poke

A London health food chain with 15 outlets in the capital and one in Brighton has entered a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to keep trading while it restructures its financial arrangements.

First opened in Soho in 2016, the restaurants specialise in poke which is a Hawaiian dish made of raw fish and vegetable and not chopped up pokemon. It also claims it invented Europe’s first vegan poke dish. 

A report on their accounts in January said: “Even though the company is loss making and in a net liability position, the directors consider that the company can operate.

Russell Ductile Castings

A 40-year-old Scunthorpe iron castings producer has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

Russell Ductile Castings Ltd was founded in 1983 and employed 129 workers across its main site and a subsidiary location in Walsall. It became part of the Chamberlin PLC group in 1999. 

They specialise in making complex iron and steel castings of between 100kg and 7,000kg of a wide range of industries. These castings are used in large process compressors, renewable energy applications, industrial gas turbines and mining, quarrying and construction equipment. 

Parent company Chamberlin announced on May 12 it was unable to secure additional funding of the scale and form required for ongoing business stability. 

A statement from group CEO Kevin Price said: “Following the Company’s announcement and subsequent discussions with creditors, customers and shareholders, we do not have a funding solution that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available. 

“On behalf of the Board, I express to our staff, shareholders and all other affected stakeholders our deepest regret that we’re having to take the very difficult decision to commence an insolvency process.”

The underlying demand for Chamberlin had been lower than expected in Q3 with lower sales also negatively affecting profitability and working capital. To tackle the challenges, price increases as well as a cost-cutting strategy were implemented but this resulted in the share price dropping and ultimately seeing trading in shares suspended.

Intelligent Money

A Nottingham financial advice firm has gone into administration. 

Intelligent Money offered investment management services for private clients and financial advisers.

The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that due to action taken prior to the appointment of the administrators that the administration of SIPPs, Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs) and General Investment Accounts (GIAs) were transferred to another regulated firm (Quai Investment Services Limited) so consumers can continue to contribute, withdraw and make investment decisions as before.  

Intelligent Money had recently received an upheld final decision from the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding some of the investments it allowed within its SIPPs. Intelligent Money’s directors recognised the financial liabilities associated with this and other similar complaints.

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

They will get a clear understanding of all the options available to them and can then decide what choices to make to help their business in the short, medium and long terms.