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Norfolk removals firm employees speak of "shell shock" after company closes with more than £300,000 debt

PUBLISHED: 10:07 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 15 March 2018

A removals firm.

A removals firm.

Former employees of a Norfolk based removals firm have described their "shell shock" at being told their employers would close with immediate effect.

Britannia Neaves, which has been based in Shipdham for 30 years, announced on March 2 that they would cease trading due to having “not enough money”.

A former employee of the company said: “The bosses called us in and just said they didn’t have any money and that they were closing the business.

“We were all shell shocked. We knew it had been a quiet year, quieter than last year, but we didn’t realise how bad it was.”

The individual, who asked not to be named, added: “The bosses said everyone had to go in because they had something important to tell us. We thought maybe it’d be a few redundancies, but not that we’d be shutting down.”

Of the 20 employees which were made redundant, around 16 have already found work elsewhere.

“Everyone’s in driving or haulage so they’ve moved to other removals companies,” the former employee added.

The individual added that anyone who had booked a removal or had their items in storage should contact the administrators of Britannia Neaves.

Larking Gowen is overseeing the Britannia Neaves insolvency case. A spokesman for the company said: “A review of the company’s accounts show that the business had been trading successfully for a number of years.

“This winter’s downturn in trade continued its decline into January and February. With ongoing cashflow problems, and increasing competition in the market, the company had no option but to rely on its overdraft facility to see it through the downturn.

“Unfortunately, trade continued to be slow and the directors felt that it was in the best interests of all concerned that the company should be placed into liquidation.”

The company also currently owes Lloyds bank £300,000, as well as money owed to employees and trade creditors.

The spokesman added: “Whilst the company is entering an insolvent process it does have significant assets which, as liquidators, we will be looking to realise for the benefit of its creditors. In the first instance, we would look to achieve a sale of the business as a whole.”

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