Eastbourne firm’s administration shock is ‘great shame’ says Chamber of Commerce

Christina Ewbank
Christina Ewbank

Eastbourne’s Chamber of Commerce has expressed sympathy for staff who find themselves redundant after a building firm went into administration.

Ellis Building Contractors Ltd went into administration on February 7 – despite the company’s owner Derek Godfrey selling his own home to try to keep the company afloat.

Christina Ewbank, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said the news was ‘a great shame’.

“He [Derek Godfrey] has done so much for the town and so much for the Chamber of Commerce. It’s the climate we find ourselves in – this kind of thing is going to happen.

“We will try to help people to come back from this as much as we can.

“It’s a huge shame. They’ve been going for 29 years and some members of staff have been with them since the very first day. It’s very unfortunate.”

The company, which has been trading for 29 years and has been a major name in Eastbourne, has worked on developments across the county including the Devonshire Park Theatre, the Pavilion Tea Rooms, University of Brighton, Langney Primary School and the Conquest Hospital.

An Ellis spokesperson said that although the company – which is based in Alder Close – is owed substantial sums from completed projects, the company’s debts had become unmanageable.

The spokesperson added, “Redundancy notices have regrettably been issued to most of the office staff, the rest of the team have been retained to complete partly finished work in an attempt to optimise the result for creditors and minimise disruption for clients. In the meantime the entire business is up for sale.”