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Roger Stephenson Architects goes under

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Roger Stephenson Architects (RSA), which emerged from the embers of Stephenson Bell, has gone under after just 18 months

The Manchester-based company officially went into voluntary liquidation on 21 December (2012) with debts of more than £450,000. According to documents seen by the AJ, the company owed money to 47 creditors, including £85,000 to the tax man and £1,464 to RIBA Enterprises.

The company’s managing director and figurehead Roger Stephenson has now set up another practice with the support of Ian Simpson Architects, called Stephenson:ISA Studio.

The newly formed outfit is working out of offices owned by Ian Simpson in Manchester’s Commercial Street.

Shareholdings in the studio are split between its managing director Stephenson and Ian Simpson and fellow Ian Simpson Architects’s director Rachel Haugh.

It is understood around ten of ‘Stephenson’s long-term colleagues’ have joined him in the new venture.

Stephenson said: ‘We are excited about the new studio and expect the synergy between the two practices to offer an added professional dimension for our clients.’

Manchester stalwart Stephenson Bell Architects (SBA) went into liquidation following the collapse of an ‘unworkable’ company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in July 2011.

The assets of the failed company were bought by Roger Stephenson Architects, headed by Roger Stephenson - one of the two original founders of the well-known practice alongside Jeffrey Bell.

Stephenson Bell had tried to keep working through an agreed CVA put in place in March 2011 after it had racked up ‘bad debts’ of nearly £500,000. At the same time Bell left the 25-year-old company to set up on his own.

Extract from the Statement of Affairs presented to creditors of Roger Stephenson Architects:

When the company started trading, it was hoped that with a smaller team, the work in progress purchased from SBA and the large amount of potential new work in the pipeline that the company (RSA) would be successful.

However, the work in the pipeline took longer to materialise than the director had anticipated, as clients struggled to obtain funding for new proejcts. As the company’s clients were struggling financially, the company found that it was being asked to do a large number of proejcts either for free or ‘at risk’, pending the outcome of successful planning decisions and/or funding arrangements.



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