A historic Black Country industrial firm founded in the 1850s has ceased trading and made 50 staff redundant.
Walsall-based Kirkpatrick specialises in metal casting and produces handmade ironmongery but was forced to call in administrators after being hit by overseas competition, finance issues and delays in accessing covid-19 funding.
Andrew Turpin and Matt Hardy, from Birmingham-based Poppleton and Appleby, are now managing the affairs of the business and looking to sell off its assets.
The firm said Kirkpatrick had suffered a recent downturn in trading because of competition from India and China and general economic uncertainty throughout the Industry leading to delays and a downturn in orders.
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Kirkpatrick has also been hit by a gradual reduction in certain long-term funding, according to administrators, who added that managers could see “little prospect” of any significant upturn given the overall uncertainty in the marketplace.
“This was further compounded with the covid-19 outbreak and temporary closure of many of the company’s markets and customers,” administrators said.
“Despite efforts to utilise the covid-19 financial support, the emergency funding measures put in place by the Government were not available or forthcoming quickly enough to help the company and the difficult decision to appoint administrators was taken.”
The company, which was founded by William Kirkpatrick in 1855, has ceased trading and made all of its staff redundant.
Mr Turpin said: “This is a sad day for all involved in the business but reflected the difficulties being faced by many industries at present.
“It is particularly sad for a business of this longevity and tradition.
“Regrettably, the company is unable to continue trading in the current climate but there remains a current order book and it is our intention to explore all the options open to us which include the possibility of achieving a sale of the business and assets.”