Slowdown in refurb activity forces Wakefield firm to the wall

Lee Lockwood

Lee Lockwood and Bob Maxwell of Begbies Traynor in Leeds have been appointed as joint administrators of H. Waterhouse & Sons (Wakefield) Limited, which has been trading for over 150 years.

The downturn in the construction and refurbishment sectors caused the business to hit trading difficulties in recent months, experiencing reduced opportunities and continually tightening margins. The company ceased trading earlier in October, and all 21 staff were made redundant.

Joint administrator Lee Lockwood said: “The underlying cause of the company’s failure appears to be a slowdown in development and refurbishment activity in the face of economic uncertainty and, unfortunately, the business simply proved to be unviable. It is sad to see a business which has been operating for so long and has been run by the same family for four generations, ceasing to trade in this manner.

“Unfortunately, due to a lack of ongoing projects, there was no prospect of rescuing the business. We are in the process of disposing of the company’s assets and actively pursuing its debts in order to generate the best return for creditors.”

Based in East Ardsley, the company began in 1853 when the great grandfather of the current director established the business which provides building refurbishment and office interiors throughout West Yorkshire.