Jobs lost as historic Sheffield door firm closes

A Sheffield handmade door factory has closed with the loss of 35 jobs, following “severe” cashflow pressures.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 17:32 pm
Longden Doors on Parkwood Road.

Longden Doors, of Parkwood Road, has ceased trading, closed its factory and made workers redundant.

Administrators at FRP Advisory said they were in discussions to sell the assets and three employees had been retained to support the ‘orderly wind down of the business’.

Emily Ball, director at FRP, said: “Our focus is now supporting those employees affected during this difficult time and securing a sale of the business’ assets to ensure the best outcome possible for creditors.”

A businessperson, who asked not to be named, told The Star: “Longden Doors has been shut by its owners with immediate effect, with the entire workforce laid off.

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“The order book and the intellectual property of the business has been sold to another company who do not require the factory, machinery or workforce.”

Longden, established in 1838, was a bespoke manufacturer of high-quality solid timber doors, doorsets and screens.

It was bought out of administration, saving 61 jobs, in December 2015. Then part of Laidlaw Interiors Group, which included seven firms and employed 969, it was snapped up by private equity firm Valtegra.

At the time general manager David Grimshaw said: "Longden is profitable and has had a very good year. But as part of group we have been living with uncertainty for the final quarter of this year. Trading was difficult and cash flow was a problem.

"Now we can look to the future with the promise of investment. Longden is an excellent brand with a long and rich history."

The firm’s website states the original Sheffield-based company grew to become one of the top 10 building and civil engineering contractors in 19th century Britain.

Prestigious contracts include Sheffield City Hall and more recently the £70m Connaught Hotel restoration and the redevelopment of Durham Town Hall.

The Laidlaw Group had been formed in 2011 in a merger between Laidlaw businesses and the interiors division of SIG in Sheffield  .