MORE than 100 jobs have been lost at Piper Windows in Ramsgate after the company was plunged into administration.
At a meeting last week, office and factory workers were told the 33-year-old family-run business would be closing and all staff would be made redundant with immediate effect.
Although it is unclear the exact number of job losses, Piper Windows boasts staff numbers in excess of 150 on its website and 63 redundancies were made before administrators were appointed.
In a letter to staff, managing director Neil Piper expressed his sadness about the situation.
He said: “No-one regrets more than I that the administrator has to give you the information that Piper Double Glazing Limited has been forced to go into administration.
“I emphasise that no fault lies with the staff at Piper and the situation has been caused mainly by two of our major commercial customers.”
The companywindows business, which was founded in 1980, had won a series of industry awards and was identified as being in the top 50 companies in the south east.
Thanet and East Kent Chamber chief executive David Foley has expressed his disappointment about the news, but said the “tide was turning” for businesses locally in east Kent.
He said: “It’s always very sad when companies close and people are made jobless. The positive news is that those workers will find it somewhat easier to find another job than a year ago.
“The economy is recovering and there is a growing interest in east Kent. It’s a shame that Piper Windows could not hang on for another six months because I expect companies to reap the reward from this upturn in confidence.”
Elephant Windows, which is also run by the Piper family, will continue to trade and has taken on a number of staff made redundant at Piper.
In his letter, Mr Piper added: “The situation at Elephant serving private and retail and not commercial customers is not affected and I am in the position where we have need of five experienced production staff, two administrative staff and one senior manager to join the team at Elephant.”
Joint administrator at Herron Fisher, Nicky Fisher, said: “We have spoken to a few interested parties about taking over the business, but as the company had already ceased trading prior to our appointment it is unlikely that any purchaser will be found.”