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Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Heating firm folds amid financial chill

A heating and plumbing business based near Dursley has abruptly ceased trading with the potential loss of more than 25 jobs after staff clocking in to work last Friday were told to go home without notice.

West Country Plumbing And Heating Ltd (WCPH Ltd), headquartered on the Cambridge Mills Industrial Estate on the A38 at Cambridge, suspended its website after the staff were turned away and no reply has been given to enquiries left with the business.

However, information passed to Punchline-Gloucester.com has confirmed that all operations have ceased.

A former employee, who asked not to be named, suggested financial issues had derailed the firm: "The problems began with an underquoted job last year and then that was followed by a period of two months when business was quiet."

Public accounts indicate WCPH Ltd had 25 staff on its payroll in 2022, having taken on two more from the previous year's total of 23. It is believed that it began trading in 2013. A large team of engineers covered the county and South Gloucestershire, their distinct liveried vans becoming a familiar sight on roads across the Berkeley Vale and the Cotswolds.

The last social media post from the business showed that it was looking to take on an additional plumbing and heating engineer in October last year.

Residents who have relied upon the business were left shocked by the closure. One asked

how current work being undertaken by the company would be completed.

Cllr Ken Tucker, group leader of the Lib Dems on Stroud District Council, said he was saddened by the news, but felt sure that many redundant staff would pick up local work.

On Thursday, engineer Luke Woodman told Punchline-Gloucester.com that after losing his job he had already begun a partnership with Cody Benden, who also formerly worked as a WCPH Ltd engineer.

He said: "We are both looking to carry on plumbing and heating in the Wotton-under-Edge area and are aware that other redundant engineers are making similar plans around Gloucester. I was fortunate because I used my own kit and had a back-up van, so I could jump straight into new work. We are keen to provide a service and already have a lot of bookings."

West Country Electrical Services Ltd moved next door to WCPH Ltd in April 2023. A spokesman for the firm told Punchline-Gloucester.com that the electrical business has "nothing to do with West Country Plumbing and Heating Ltd" and that the two companies are entirely disconnected.

‚óŹ Listing information at Companies House shows that Samuel Blakeney, a director of WCPH Ltd since he was appointed in 2013, subsequently became a co-director of the West Country Electrical Services Ltd, which trades under similar corporate livery and uses a similar image of the nearby Tyndale Monument in its logo, as of September 2020.

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