Investment rescues Derby blinds firm from closure

Brian Thomas, Gary Barber, Stuart Campbell, Teresa Griffin and Steve Ecob

A Derby blinds firm that ceased trading last year has been revived thanks to investment by its long-serving workforce.

Raynesway Interiors faced turmoil after its owner, Bob Pearce, passed away unexpectedly from Covid-19 in 2021.

To preserve Bob’s legacy, his non-biological son Paul Pearce and brother-in-law Tony Hales stepped in as directors, working without pay.

Despite attempts to purchase the firm, issues with the bank eventually forced Pearce and Hales to resign as directors.

The remaining employees took it upon themselves to keep the business running, working for months without pay.

A breakthrough came when the unpaid staff put together their savings to force the company into liquidation. This move allowed Pearce, Hales and two other investors to buy the business assets, which included the installation of shutters, blinds, awnings, and window film.

Now, the new company, Raynesway Blinds, has emerged from the former Raynesway Interiors. Investor Brian Thomas has taken an active role in daily operations alongside Hales.

The company is working on compensating staff for their lost wages and lack of redundancy from the previous firm’s closure.

Hales said: “We wanted to keep the business together in Bob’s name. We needed to salvage what we could for Bob’s memory and for the staff that had stood by the business while it faced an imminent threat of closure. It was hanging by a thread but we owed it to the employees who stepped up and took control while protracted legal negotiations were taking place. 

 “The whole thing provides an important lesson to business owners: get a succession plan in place, as you never know what is going to happen. Bob would have fully intended to pass the business onto Paul and Jodie – but without a will, that wish counted for very little.

“This is mainly about keeping our five current employees in a job at the moment. The customers love them and they are really good at what they do. It was touch and go, and there’s been a lot of hard work and tears along the way. But our dream is for Raynesway Blinds to succeed and grow.”


Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...