Leyland stone merchant in administration after problems caused by the pandemic

A Leyland family stone merchant has gone into administration after being hit by a raft of problems caused by coronavirus.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 4:55 am

J & J Ashcroft Ltd, of James House off Centurion Way, supplied sand, soil and stone aggregate around the North West using its own fleet of HGV’s.

The third generation firm started in Longton in 1935 and has operated from bases in Chorley and more recently Leyland, at the Lancashire Business Park, where the firm moved in 2003.

The current directors had suffered significant health issues in recent years and had hoped to sell the business as a going concern.

Jim and Vikki Ashcroft pictured in 2008, celebrating 20 years of the engineering arm of J&J Ashcroft

But the recent problems across the country in 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.

David Acland and Lila Thomas, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory, were appointed as joint administrators.

The business has ceased trading and all staff employed by the company have been made redundant.

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

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

Jim Ashcroft, the managing director of J&J Ashcroft, whose grandfather, also named Jim, 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”.

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