Family Construction Firm Goes into Liquidation After 60 Business Years

After years of good service, a Scottish family firm has gone to liquidation, leaving 15 without a job in Helensburgh.

The company, Stewart & Shields, based on the Firth of Clyde, was in the construction business for 60 good years till it fell prey to the constant contract delays, current labour market challenges, and the rising material costs that has been hunting the UK construction industry.

FinTech Analysis: Cash Flow Challenges Became the Final Nail in the Coffin

In one of the interviews, Interpath Advisory, the liquidators, mentioned that the family firm had to shut their operation due to severe “cash flow challenges.” Their closing posits several concerns regarding managing secure cash flow in such troubling times. Thus, often, one might hear analysts encourage SMEs into strategies like debt purchase—sell your debt to a B2B debt buyer and guarantee a source of cash.

This is when a third-party buyer, like Intrum in the UK, buys the debts from the original creditor at a small discount and becomes the new creditor, who would later collect the full amount of the debt from the debtors.

The severity of the situation is further expressed as Interpath Advisory mentions how Stewart & Shields managed to tackle the setbacks of the pandemic with a solid order sheet and major projects in the pipeline. However, despite all the efforts to keep the company afoot by the management, there were no options left to the directors but to cease the operations and seek assistance from the liquidation firm, said Interpath.

Considering how the SMEs make up 60% of total employment in the UK with 52% of the country’s turnover, the current economic crisis poses threats to these establishments more than ever. This is where debt purchase can provide the SMEs with an immediate cash injection while saving the time, cost, and effort that would otherwise be spent on pursuing the debtors, reducing the risk of closing down.

More Names that Succumbed to the UK Economic Turmoil

Stewart & Shields is only one of the few to cease operations in the recent economic pressures that have been building all over Europe. Only in the UK, as the Creditsafe data shows, the 38 construction firms falling into administration this March marks a stark rise from the 8 in February and the 23 in January.

Among this record-breaking disaster, you can find contractors like Northern Ireland based William Coates, electrical and specialists such as Norstead, and reputed cladding firms like Jessella.

The Legacy of Stewart & Shields: A Good Goodbye _EDITED IAC0631

Stewart & Shield has seen the end of an era in the construction sector in the United Kingdom. By setting up offices in the Scottish Borders, Inverclyde, and Glasgow, they also offered a number of construction services across Scotland for more than a few decades.

Their works included sectors such as social housing, local authority projects alongside residential, commercial, and private contracts. Stewart & Shield’s most notable work includes the A’Chrannag social housing in Rothesay, the award-winning project which was considered the most energy efficient construction in Europe by the time of its completion in 2004.

Additionally, they are the genius behind the construction of the Hermitage Pavilion in Helensburgh, a commercial building that achieved Passivhaus certification, marking a significant milestone in sustainable construction practices in Scotland.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023