Job losses loom as Bristol property firm goes into administration

February 17, 2014

Bristol-based property refurbishment and maintenance firm Matrix Solutions UK has gone into administration after a significant drop in business.

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which has been appointed administrator, today warned of ‘numerous’ redundancies among Matrix’s 30-strong workforce.

Grant Thornton said it waspotentially looking to sell the firm, which dealt with blue-chip clients such as Asda, Debenhams and British Airways, as a going concern. Matrix also worked with local authorities including Bristol City Council. In December it won a contract with the council to re-roof four blocks of flats in Fishponds.

Matrix Solutions was formed through a management buy-out from Connaught Group in 2002 and carries out a range of car park and building refurbishment work, along with other projects such as flood damage and fire repair work on behalf of insurance companies.

The firm operates from a head office on the Eagles Wood Business Park, Bradley Stoke, and at sites in Taunton, London and Leeds. Services are also provided by an additional workforce of around 50 sub-contractors.

Nigel Morrison, advisory partner at Grant Thornton in the South West, has been appointed joint administrator along with colleague David Bennett.

Mr Morrison said that Matrix had historically generated turnover of up to £20m, but that this figure is expected to fall significantly in the current year.

“Despite the obvious evidence that an economic recovery is in place, there remains much fragility among smaller companies which in many cases are unlikely to be able to compete as recovery accelerates, because they do not have the necessary capital infrastructure or working capital facilities,” he said.

“Matrix is in a high-turnover, low-margin sector, and is strongly associated with construction and retail, both industries which have suffered in the current recession.

“We are making enquiries about a potential sale of the business, but unfortunately there will be numerous redundancies whatever the outcome of these discussions.”

Exeter-based Connaught, which specialised in rennovating local authority and social housing, went bust in 2010 with debts estimated at around £220m as Government spending cuts forced councils to slash their housing repair budgets.

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