Simpson & Gregg goes into administration

Newcastle-based plumbing and electrical contractor Simpson & Gregg has
gone into administration, with the loss of 92 jobs.

Administrators from Grant Thornton hold out little hope of finding a buyer
for the 61-year-old business.

Insolvency practitioner Joseph McLean told
‘It’s unlikely we will be able to sell the business. The company had run into
cashflow difficulties and it had been unable to purchase materials to complete
some of its contracts.’

Simpson & Gregg operated primarily in the new-build housing market. Last
May, the business owners, mother and son Mary and Peter Gregg, sold the firm for
a seven-figure sum to an investment team headed by Simpson & Gregg managing
director Colin Read. At the time of the sale it employed 120 staff.

The bulk of its work was in short- and medium-term contracts and as it became
apparent it was having difficultes, some of these contracts were terminated.

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  • Chris Gregg

    Simpson and Gregg Ltd Plumbing Heating and Electrical Engineers were originally founded By Joseph Gregg and his colleague Tommy Simpson in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1958. They had a clear and focussed mission: to grow a successful business by providing consistent Quality and Value to loyal customers. They were fortunate enough to achieve their goals, over the following 61 years the company grew from a two man partnership, to one of the largest and most respected Plumbing, Heating and Electrical Contractors in the North of England; employing up to 150 local staff and tradesmen.

    The company was sold in May 2008 just as the recession loomed. The change of ownership left it in a vulnerable position and sadly the economic pressures became too much, despite valiant efforts administrators had to be called in. Trading was ceased and the company was eventually dissolved by the Registrar of Companies on 16 March 2012.

    Joseph’s youngest son Christopher Gregg was a Shareholder of Simpson & Gregg Ltd working in the business between 1980 and 1994. He left to develop successful businesses in other sectors. In May 2014 he was able to set a path to fulfil a long standing desire to return to the Building trade; re acquiring the company name Simpson and Gregg Ltd.

    With many new skills and ideas, Chris’s mission remains: “Sustainable growth through the provision of consistent quality and value, to loyal customers”

    The most exciting new concept, in time, will be to structure the company using a Combined Direct and Indirect Employee Ownership Model. This is where the majority of shares will be held in an Employee Benefit Trust so that employees will have the same rights and benefits as other company shareholders without the obligation to purchase shares. There will be a need for traditional governance so as to ensure effective decision making, but there will be high profile information sharing, greater transparency, employee involvement and increased levels of trust. Co ownership will allow all employees to better employ their talents and expertise and enjoy greater benefits in the process.