Now here is a headline I never thought I would have to write. It has been announced that Lister Trade Frames, a long established UK fenestration industry fabricator of four decades, have gone into administration.

This is the official statement that has been published on the Lister Trade Frames website:

Andrew Stephen McGill of Smith and Williamson LLP and Ian James Gould of Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency Limited were appointed Joint Administrators of Listers Trade Frames Limited (“the Company”) on 29 August 2017. The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Joint Administrators. The Joint Administrators act as agents of the Company and contract without personal liability.Andrew Stephen McGill and Ian James Gould are authorised to act as insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and are bound by the Insolvency Code of Ethics.

Nothing given away there really. Just the usual formalities of when an administrator is appointed to a company.

This genuinely shocked me when I was first informed, and was certainly not on my radar when it came to potential issues in the UK window industry. Mark, his brother Phil, their staff and the whole company are well liked, well respected and are certainly a very big name within the window industry in this country. Having won awards and being at the forefront of changing dynamics in this industry, they are one of the few that stand out in a crowd of many.

That is why this feels different.

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Hope for a positive outcome

I feel like this is different because of the company Listers is. Within the industry they are well liked and well respected, with a long history and a reputation for high quality customer service and being ahead of the curve when it comes to trends. They are certainly not at the lower end of the market. They fabricate the Residence Collection and AluK, and have their own architect and self-build services.

They’re a fabricator that has moved with the times and employ a hard working and great set of people. That is why I am confident that during the administration process Listers will be able to find a solution. Either by being bought by someone else or through a financial deal which secures the future of the company and the people they employ.

And that is the wider point here. These are people’s livelihoods at stake. Their ability to pay their bills, mortgage, feed families and keep a roof over heads. When we talk about things like this, we must remember that there are real-world consequences, and nobody should be wishing this upon any good business or people.

But, I remain confident that a company of the quality of Listers, with it’s long history, good reputation and profile of high end fenestration products will find a buyer and continue to trade in the coming weeks and months.

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