Monday, 04 Dec 2017 14:19 GMT

End of the road for print giant

The presses have gummed up, stacks of half completed jobs are curling up in the damp air, the staff have all gone and the electricity has been cut off. Yes, it is inglorious end to the once mighty Headley Brothers print works in Ashford now known as Stones Ashford. The firm is now defunct with administrators KRE Corporate Recovery charged with liquidating the Kent printers.

For unsecured suppliers and the workforce things look bleak. Power giant E.ON cut off the electricity over what is understood to be an unpaid six figure electricity bill, precipitating the firm’s demise. The utility company is also understood to be behind a winding up petition to be heard in court on January 22, 2018.

After the workforce were sent home following the electricity being switched off on November 17, staff were left in a state of suspended animation without information about the official termination of their employment. This affects their redundancy claims, benefit and unemployment rights, mortgage and employment insurance as well as their chance of securing a new job.

A meeting hosted by Unite allowed workers to voice their grievances, which were mainly with Stones Ashford’s management over a lack of transparency in the collapse of the firm. Assurances from the company have now been made that all workers will receive their P45s shortly.

 There has been no word from owners Henry Stones Printers other than to say Stones Ashford was an independent enterprise and implied its downfall did not have a knock-on effect at their Banbury site.

Have you been affected by the collapse of Stones Ashford? Email the editor Brendan Perring: with your thoughts.

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