Festive Decorations Firm Calls In Administrator
The company which puts up Christmas decorations in major UK shopping centres including Bluewater and Lakeside will on Friday fall into administration after axing its entire 190-strong workforce.
Sky News has learnt that Fuzzwire, which has contracts with many of the largest British property companies, is to call in FRP Advisory, the professional services firm, to oversee the administration.
Around 65 of the jobs at Yorkshire-based Fuzzwire were full-time, with the remainder split between part-time roles and about 80 self-employed contractors, many of whom are former military personnel responsible for the precarious task of erecting and dismantling the decorations.
The redundancies were made earlier this week by directors of Fuzzwire, insiders said.
Fuzzwire was formed from the merger of the sector's two major players, Centre Design and LDJ Design and Display, but is understood to have experienced difficult trading and cashflow problems in recent months.
The company also has contracts with malls such as Newcastle's Metro Centre and Canary Wharf in London.
Fuzzwire's contracts have already been transferred to MK Illuminations, an Austrian-owned company, reassuring shopping centre-owners that the decorative displays currently in place will be removed in the new year.
It is unclear whether MK Illuminations will hire the same contractors to undertake the work.
Andrew Sheridan, a partner at FRP, said in a statement issued to Sky News: "The assignment of Fuzzwire's UK contracts was made in order to safeguard the sound management of the Christmas decorations already in place and to ensure a smooth operational framework is in place to allow for their removal seamlessly to timetable in the new year and to ensure there is a continuing relationship for reinstallation of decorations at a range of shopping malls at future seasonal periods in 2014 and beyond."
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.