All the important and interesting stories from August 10th to 17th

A funny thing happened this week which you might have noticed if you’ve been for a drink or a pub meal. 

Several have started putting up Christmas trees and decorations and posters advising customers to book their festive parties and dinners now to avoid disappointment. 

Now it’s true that it’s over four months away but experience tells the landlords that if they don’t remind people, that time flies by. 

This is why it’s still a shock to find we’re still in Summer this year and even though it’s traditionally a quieter time for many businesses, there are still lots of important and interesting business and insolvency news stories happening every single week – including this one. 

So whether you’re interested in finding out why hundreds of pubs have closed this year already or why overall corporate insolvencies were down for the month of July – you can read these and lots more!

Bross Bagels

A popular, multi-location Edinburgh sandwich business beloved by influencers is going into liquidation. 

The owners of Bross Bagels lodged a petition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for the business “to be wound up by the court and that an interim liquidator be appointed.”

This follows that HMRC had sent a “warning of winding up action” to them for owed debts of over £500,000. 

Owner Larah Bross said: “I’ve had no alternative but to place Bross Bagels Ltd into liquidation. As stated previously, all the jobs have been safeguarded and we are bagel business as usual.

“I think everyone is aware of how hard it’s been for the hospitality sector over the last few years and things continue to be tough, but we are working tirelessly just to keep ourselves trading.

“A restructure will allow us to safeguard jobs and continue to provide for Edinburgh bagel lovers.”

A new business has been incorporated at Companies House by Ms Bross called Hot Mama Bagels Ltd.

Founded in 2017, the company had overseen rapid expansion but two branches in Leith and Queensferry Street have closed although three other outlets remained open. 

Lily Ella

A Newcastle mail order fashion business is going into liquidation with the loss of seven positions. 

Lily Ella was formed in 2013 after founder and director Zoe Glover was made redundant from her previous buying job at another mail order company.

Based at the North Tyne Industrial Estate in Benton, escalating costs and waning demands took their toll.  Named after her two daughters, the business became a popular ladies fashion label with online, a catalogue and an alterations service. 

The catalogue-based mail order operation suffered from escalating production and mailing costs. Combined with a fall in sales due to the cost of living crisis and reduced customer spending power.

Big Chief Studios

A Birmingham based company which sold officially licensed collectible action figures and other gifts related to popular TV shows like Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders and Only Fools and Horses has ceased trading and entered a creditors voluntary liquidation process (CVL). 

Big Chief Studios said the aftermath of the pandemic, coupled with the current cost-of-living crisis and economic downturn had resulted in plummeting sales. 

Managing Director Mark Andrews said: “It is with a heavy heart that I must inform our customers that, despite our best efforts, Big Chief Studios has been forced to cease trading.

“Having got through the global pandemic, the subsequent numerous knock-on effects have combined, creating a perfect storm that had extended delays to both the manufacture and release of our products. 

“The current cost-of-living crisis and economic downturn have resulted in plummeting sales which have seriously impacted our ability to continue and for us to be able to negotiate the renewal of our key licenses with any certainty. 

“I have carefully considered the financial position of the company and concluded that it is unable to pay its debts and can no longer continue to trade. The necessary steps need to be taken to place the company into a creditors voluntary liquidation. 

“Having worked tirelessly for over a decade to deliver high-end collectables, it is deeply wounding for myself and the team. I am sincerely sorry to all our loyal customers and apologise wholeheartedly for the situation.”

Sustainable Marine Energy

A tidal energy company based in Edinburgh has gone into administration. 

Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd has ceased to trade with a small number of positions being made redundant as a result. 

The decision was made after the company’s Canadian subsidiary also became insolvent following federal regulators turning down a permit for a tidal project in Nova Scotia. 

A statement from the business said: “SME has been a leading developer of tidal energy solutions for several years and had demonstrated the value of that development through the successful implementation of its innovative platform in Canada. 

“The difficult decision to enter administration was entirely due to the impact of the Canadian subsidiary. It is hoped that a sale of the project with the potential for the application of its technology in other parts of the world could be successful.”


A UK wine bar firm has filed notice to appoint administrators this week. 

Vinoteca, founded in London in 2005 and growing to five venues across the UK in the meantime has posted notice of intent to appoint administrators. As well as offering an extensive wine list and food, it offers wine tasting events and on-site shops.  

Its Birmingham location closed in May 2023 citing difficult post-pandemic trading conditions, rising costs, inflation, spiraling energy charges and regular train strikes meaning the business was unable to grow in the second city. At 4,500 sq ft, it was Birmingham’s biggest wine bar when it was open.

So whether you and your team are taking some deserved time off or whether you haven’t been busier this year – it’s always a great time to plan what you’d like the rest of 2023 to look like for your company. 

The best way to start is by getting in touch with us to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our team of advisors. 

Depending on what your goals are, they’ll look at where you are now and what choices you have available depending on your circumstances.