The final countdown – our best-read stories of the year: 41-30

As the year draws to a close and we all look forward to a week or so of eating and drinking too much, it’s time to take a look back at our best-read stories of the year.

2023 has been a fantastic year for, with over two million people reading our stories, a series of a outstanding events – and a host of exclusive stories

In the first part of our top 50 best-read tales of the year, let’s find out what came in from numbers 40 to 31.

40. Wilko on the brink as job cuts U-turn could be announced today

At the end of August – at the height of the Wilko crisis – we reported that the GMB union was hopeful that the mass culling of jobs at the stricken retailer by administrators from PwC could be stopped – just a day after it was announced that any redundancy programme had been paused to allow a rescue bid.

It proved another false dawn in the depressing tale of the Worksop firm’s demise.

39. Indie bingo operator facing uncertain future

At the end of June, we reported that one of the largest independent bingo operators in the UK was on the verge of calling in administrators, understands.

Majestic Bingo is headquartered in Spalding and has a support office in Mansfield. It currently operates eight retail bingo venues across the UK, including the popular Roman Bank in Skegness and three clubs in Wales.

Just days later administrators were called into the firm.

38. Rail carriage painting firm facing uncertain future

A company which paints new rail carriages at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane site in Derby was facing an uncertain future in the middle of November

Paintbox Transportation Services, which is part of the Paintbox Group, had posted a notice of intention (NOI) to appointment administrators. The move gave the company around two weeks of breathing space to try and find a way forward – and protected it from creditor action.

However, a month later administrators were appointed to the firm.

37. Leather goods manufacturer on the brink

An East Midlands leather goods manufacturer which employed 50 people edged closer to administration after it filed a second notice of intention (NOI) to appoint administrators ob June 21.

The second NOI was posted by law firm Clarions on behalf of Naseby-based Roma Leather- two weeks after the initial NOI.

By the end of the month the firm had ceased trading.


How the fan zone could look

36. Forest unveil plans for 500-capacity fan zone

In November Nottingham Forest revealed plans to build a 500-capacity fan zone at their City Ground home.

The fan zone is in response to a Premier League drive to make football family friendly. The plans include changing part of the car park behind the Brian Clough stand, and would include three shipping containers serving food and drink – and a canopied area.

35. Wilkinson family firm on brink of administration

Consumer products business Kin was on the brink of administration as a result of the collapse of retailer Wilko, revealed in August.

The Worksop-based home and garden products specialist is a sibling company to the retail chain but does have other commercial relationships.

The firm later went out of business with the rest of the Wilko business.

34. Major deal to take accountancy firm to £125m business

Castle Donington-based accountancy firm Cooper Parry bought Haines Watts London and its audit and advisory businesses across the South East and the Midlands in September.

The deal saw Cooper Parry add 11 offices across London, the South, Birmingham and the Midlands to its existing portfolio, increasing its workforce to 1,150 and turnover to £125m. This represented a tripling in size for the firm over the last 12 months since Waterland Private Equity invested in the company.

33. Creditors back entrepreneur’s bid to save Wilko

HMV owner Dough Putman’s offer to save Wilko secured the backing of the stricken Worksop retailer’s creditors at the beginning of September.

PwC was looking into the financial behind the rescue deal, which was believed to come from in the form of debt from Gordon Brothers.

Putnam later walked away from the deal.


Slack & Parr’s HQ

32. Administrators called in at 100-year-old manufacturer

A Kegworth firm which sold custom precision gear pumps across the globe called in administrators at the beginning of July.

Slack & Parr, which was formed in the Leicestershire village over a century ago, immediately made some 40 people redundant, according to an employee who contacted us. The source told us that debts were high at the company.

31. Hilco rushes to aid of Wilko with further investment

In July retail investor Hilco has pumped a further £5m into under pressure Nottinghamshire retailer Wilko to help secure its future.

The new loan came on top of a £40m cash injection from Hilco at the beginning of the year.

It was sadly too little, too late.


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