A major Eastbourne building firm has gone into administration, leaving most of its 35 workers redundant, after its debts became ‘unmanageable’.
Ellis Building Contractors Ltd went into administration on February 7 – despite the company’s owner selling his own home to try to keep the company afloat.
The company, which has been trading for more than 25 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 have 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.”
Company owner Derek Godfrey said that tough trading conditions, a project with heavy cost overruns, protracted client account agreements and new project delays had left him no option but to put the company into administration.
In January the company attempted to reach an informal payment arrangement with its creditors to allow time to get money in from completed projects but unfortunately, despite incredible creditor support, a number of creditors rejected the proposals making it impossible for Ellis to continue.
He said, “I have tried everything to keep the business going. I even sold my house last year in a bid to keep the company afloat.
“I am so sorry to my loyal staff and to all the suppliers and contractors who have carried out jobs for Ellis and now face the prospect of not being paid for their professional services.
“Nothing I say will make this any easier, but I am genuinely and profoundly sorry for the situation we are in.”
Insolvency Practitioners Nicky Fisher and Chris Herron, with offices in Eastbourne and Croydon, have been appointed administrators of Ellis Building Contractors Ltd.