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Gloucestershire Business News

BREAKING: Building firm collapses – more than 60 jobs lost

A prestigious Cotswold building and joinery firm that dates back almost 50 years has gone into administration with the loss of more than 60 jobs.

Amid reports of recent financial struggles which had led to specialist advisors being called in at a cost of £2,000 per day, Chappell and Dix Ltd, a building and carpentry contractor who focused on bespoke projects in the southern end of Gloucestershire, suspended its website on Friday last week.

In an email to customers, the firm cited a failure to find additional investment or new owners as a fatal issue for the business and added that the directors had "explored every avenue to avoid this situation".

The email said: "As explained in my previous email we have been unable to overcome the severity of the current economic downturn, so soon after the global pandemic and the legacy problems that this caused the company."

Latest accounts indicated that debt due within one year totalled £2,244,256, while staffing was listed as 62. A message shared online instructed all enquiries to be addressed to the Bath offices administration handlers Begbies Traynor.

Punchline-Gloucester.com has approached the administrator for further comment. A statement from the receivers said: "The Administrators will be writing to creditors in due course and within seven days of their appointment [March 1st]."

As a significant employer in the Wotton-under-Edge area, the news comes as a double blow alongside the demise of West Country Plumbing and Heating Ltd, whose staff and families are closely connected to many who are directly affected by the news today.

Chappell and Dix began in the mid 1970s as a joint family firm operating from the neighbouring villages of Hillesley and Hawkesbury Upton through a partnership between Stan Chappell and Charles Dix. 

In recent years, the company had significantly expanded and its details with Companies House indicate four current directors as a private company limited by shares.

The direction of its work has also progressively been upmarket. Alongside bespoke high-end Cotswold housing commissions, recent showcase projects include multimillion NHS contracts for the renovation, expansion and reconfiguration of both of Wotton-under-Edge's GP surgeries.

At the Culverhay Surgery, work included a new floor level within the existing footprint to add offices and storage areas, along with refreshed and modernised GP and nurse consultation rooms and a totally new reception.

The company's subsequent project for the Chipping Surgery was a more far-reaching commission, with some work carried out amid the logistic headache of the Pandemic.

The company said at the time: "Undertaking the refurbishment in eight separate phases, the Chappell & Dix team have worked closely with the practice management to minimise disruption to the surgery operation whilst maintaining the health and safety of all patients and staff at all times."

Extensive reconfiguration and structural work was undertaken, including a new wing, a lift, total rewiring, new windows and a bespoke reception desk has been manufactured and installed by the company's joinery workshop. The facility's expansion was seen as crucial to absorb rising patient numbers from increased housing in nearby Kingswood and Charfield.

The impact of the announced closure has already sent a shockwave into the local community with online reaction reflecting that the news was totally unexpected, leaving a question mark over the means to completion for any current work being undertaken by the company.

● It is understood that one local employer has already come forward to invite redundant staff to get in touch and discuss possible re-employment in similar work.

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