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Stephenson Bell's CVA fails as company goes into administration

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Manchester-based Stephenson Bell has gone into liquidation following the collapse of an ‘unworkable’ company voluntary arrangement (CVA)

The failed company has now been 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 went into an agreed CVA back in March after racking up ‘bad debts’ of nearly £500,000 (see below). At the same time Bell left the 25-year-old company to set up on his own and it is understood the practice has subsequently shed other staff.

MCR has now been appointed as administrator to Stephenson Bell Architects.

Speaking to the AJ, Roger Stephenson said: ‘Stephenson Bell Architects entered into a CVA earlier this year which has proved to be unworkable.
‘The practice decided to put itself into voluntary administration and Roger Stephenson Architects has successfully bought the company. The clients have been extremely supportive and Roger Stephenson Architects is taking all their projects forward.’

Previous story (AJ 31.03.11)

Stephenson Bell splits as company goes into CVA

Manchester-based Stephenson Bell has gone into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) after racking up ‘bad debts’ of nearly £500,000

Practice co-founder Jeffrey Bell has also left the 25-year-old company which has been forced to write off nearly half a million pounds worth of fees due to the collapse of ‘some of its large developer clients’.

The award-winning outfit is set to re-emerge as roger stephenson architects having agreed a deal to pay off its debts which are ‘mainly due to the HM Revenue and Customs’.

According to Roger Stephenson, the practice is continuing to trade as normal and has already witnessed a ‘resurgence of workload and expects turnover to return to the levels of two to three years ago’.

Stephenson said: ‘The practice is in a very healthy position as far as current workload and expenditure is concerned, but has been forced to reschedule its tax debt in order keep our highly skilled and loyal staff and service the needs of our clients.

‘We are going through a very exciting time with our work which includes the new school building for Chethams, several hotel projects in Manchester, continuing work at  Trafford College as well as a number of significant office projects in Central Manchester.’

Stephenson added that the ‘few trade creditors’ would be paid in full and that the practice has the support of its bank, its staff and ‘its valued clients’.

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