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200-year-old building firm falls into administration

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A nearly 200-year-old building contractor has fallen into administration. 

Norman & Underwood
Credit: Norman & Underwood.

Norman & Underwood in Leicester filed notices of its intention to appoint an administrator with the Companies Court throughout June. 

Then, on Friday 7 July, consultants Joanne Hammond, Kris Wigfield, and Gareth Prince of business recovery specialist Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint administrators. 

However, the announcement of administrators was not made official until Thursday 13 July. 

The company has ceased to trade and 49 staff have been made redundant.

Norman & Underwood was founded in Leicester in 1825 and is one of the oldest family-owned companies in the region. 

Originally specialising in general plumbing and glazing, the company evolved to provide architectural and structural glazing, metal roofing and cladding, and building conservation services including leadwork and stained-glass restoration.  

It had also manufactured sand cast sheet lead from its production facility in Leicester. 

“Our back catalogue includes many of the UK’s most famous churches and palaces, such as Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral or Hampton Court Palace and Chatsworth House. We also undertake work internationally, with major projects including the Dome of the Rock in Jordan and the British Embassy in Moscow”, wrote the Group. 

Its previous construction partners have included Kier, Wates, Willmott Dixon and Balfour Beatty. 

Norman & Underwood employs more than 65 people from its head office in Leicester, operating through three specialist divisions, according to its website. 

Accounts made up to 31 December 2021 show assets and total equity valued at £2,917,385 (FY2020 £2,909,572). 

It adds: “The directors of the company have elected not to include a copy of the profit and loss account within the financial statements.”  

It is understood Norman & Underwood has retained law firm Freeths as legal counsel. Freeths declined to comment. 

A Begbies Traynor spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, it was not possible to find a purchaser for the Leicester-based glazing, metal roofing
and cladding and building conservation specialist.

“The company has, therefore, ceased to trade and 49 staff have been made redundant.

“The property and remaining assets are being sold via Sanderson & Weatherall (property) and Eddisons (chattel assets).”

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