By Ian McConnell

A LONG-ESTABLISHED shopfitting business with operations near Glasgow and north of London has fallen into administration, hit by the coronavirus pandemic and increased labour and material costs, and all staff have been made redundant.

Michelle Elliot and Simon Carville-Briggs, partners with FRP Advisory, have been appointed joint administrators of Chas Smith Group Limited, which was founded in 1921. A buyer is being sought for all or part of the business and assets.

The joint administrators noted Chas Smith Group Limited, which operates from leasehold premises at Kirkintilloch and at Hoddesdon, north of London, and employed nine people, specialised in the design and installation of high-end fit-outs, mainly for automotive showrooms. Four of the nine redundancies are at the Kirkintilloch site.

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Ms Elliot said: “Chas Smith Group was a high-end shopfitting business with a number of well-known customers nationally across the UK. The business has unfortunately been severely affected by the pandemic, with a number of projects cancelled or suspended, coupled with increased labour and raw material costs.

“These challenges have resulted in significant cash-flow difficulties. Despite every effort by its directors to keep the business trading, the severe financial problems meant the company was not viable.”

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She added: “Unfortunately, all nine members of staff have been made redundant with immediate effect. We will be working closely with the Redundancy Payments Service and other agencies to minimise the impact on the staff. We are also exploring a sale of the business and assets, either in whole or in part, as quickly as possible.”