400 workers lose job as firm closes down

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NEARLY 400 Auto Windscreens workers in Chesterfield have lost their jobs after administrators said they were unable to save the struggling firm.

Administrators Deloitte announced the closure of the group and made 1,042 staff across the country redundant, after failing to get an offer for the business.

They had hoped to keep the UK’s second largest windscreen and repair business running while they sought a buyer following its collapse a fortnight ago.

The company employed 338 people at its Chesterfield head office on Storforth Lane and a further 48 at a factory at Stand Park, Whittington Moor.

Most had already been sent home after the company went into administration on February 14, but the company was officially closed last Friday when all workers were laid off.

Administrators said they had received 90 approaches from companies interested in buying the firm, but were unable to turn the interest into a sale.

Joint liquidator Chris Farrington said: “We approached the major customers to seek urgent funding, but unfortunately none were able to assist. While the intensive marketing process resulted in over 90 expressions of interest, no party made an offer for the business as a whole.

“In the absence of any funding and no going concern offer, we have had no alternative but to close the business, leading to 1,042 staff being made redundant.”

Deloitte said it has sold some of Auto Windscreen’s assets including the freehold properties and 19 of the leasehold properties.

The company, which had an annual turnover of around £63m, had been undergoing a recovery programme, but ran into trouble bringing in IT systems, coupled with low revenues in late 2010.

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce is supporting an emergency rapid response in a bid to help staff find new jobs.