An Ayrshire interior design firm responsible for revitalising Rugby Park and the Joy Theatre has entered liquidation over “significant” bad debts owed to the company and slow payments from clients.
Worksmart Contracts told devastated workers they lost their jobs on Friday, losing as many as 35 jobs at the Kilmarnock business.
A statement confirmed that the recession, Covid-19 and Brexit, as well as rising costs of materials, labor and fuel, also played a role in the company’s downfall.
The company has provided more than £100m worth of work over 20 years in the industry, specialising in fit-out and refurbishment work across the UK.
Owned by Steve and Lisa Nielson, Worksmart has worked on high-end projects including London’s prestigious Gherkin Building, OVO Hydro in Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also praised the company, which is based in the town’s Bank Street, for its “innovative” makeover of London’s Scotland House.
They also got more Scottish government jobs in the Belgian capital Brussels, where they carried out another office fit-out for Scotland House.
A devastated worker told the Kilmarnock Standard on Friday: “Today they announced voluntary liquidation and now everyone is out of a job.
“Totally unexpected, didn’t know it would happen. Visceral.
“They can’t win jobs. All the other companies in the same field are thriving.
“[It] Is a well-run company. shame. This is a good company for employment in the area. Many people are unemployed today. “
More locally, Worksmart was responsible for the extension and renovation of the Park Hotel, Killie Club, the 1869 function suite and two reception lounges at Rugby Park.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran has also used their services with Ayrshire College, and Ayr’s famous Convivial Theatre has revamped its box office, restaurant and auditorium.
Worksmart posted the director’s announcement of the liquidation on its Facebook page, which has since been deleted.
But the post remains on their LinkedIn page.
It reads: “Over the past few years, Worksmart as a business has been challenged by several external factors, including the recession, Brexit and, more recently, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
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“The consequences of these external factors have resulted in continued increases in business costs, including materials, labor, utilities and fuel, leading to inflation reaching the highest level in more than four decades.
“The increase in operating costs for the business has been combined with recent National Insurance and tax increases. The business has also had to deal with the large amount of bad debts owed to us, as well as slow payments from some customers in recent months.
“While costs have increased, business revenue has also been impacted by a number of ongoing customer delays, which have impacted our ability to start work on new projects.
“As a result, workloads have stagnated in recent months. With continued uncertainty in the broader economy, we expect this trend to continue with further reductions and delays in our workloads.
“As a result of these factors, despite our continuous efforts, as responsible persons, we have taken steps to appoint a liquidator to help manage the situation. Worksmart has secured and delivered over 20 years of successful projects of over £100 million, We have done our best to deliver these projects for our clients.
“We’ve been investing in our team, our business, our industry, our local supply chain and our local communities. The directors are appalled at having to make this decision.”
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