Administrators appointed to Lancashire stone merchants and haulier

X The Business Desk

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A Lancashire family firm, founded 86 years ago, is in the hands of administrators.

David Acland and Lila Thomas, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory, have been appointed as joint administrators to J & J Ashcroft, a third generation stone merchant and haulier.

The company, which started in Longton in 1935, and has operated from bases in Chorley and more recently Leyland, supplied sand, soil and stone aggregate around the North West using their own fleet of HGVs.

The current directors had suffered significant health issues in recent years and had hoped to sell the business as a going concern, but the recent well reported problems recruiting HGV drivers, combined with the ongoing challenges of COVID, proved too costly and the team from FRP’s Preston office were appointed as joint administrators on November 24.

Thirteen staff and two directors were made redundant and the business ceased to trade prior to the administrators’ appointment.

The assets are currently in the process of being sold.

The administrators will be supporting all those affected with claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

Jim Ashcroft, the managing director of J&J Ashcroft, whose grandfather founded the company, said: “We are, as you can imagine, incredibly upset that we have had to take this decision after such a long trading history.

“I have been here for over 40 years and, together with our staff, it has been an absolute privilege to have served our loyal customers throughout that period”.

The engineers merchants business operating from the same site remains unaffected.