Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 19th December 2016
A laundry services company based in Eastbourne has been forced to call in administrators after being unable to remain solvent amid financial pressures on its south coast operations.
White Knight Laundry Services had employed a total of 131 people but only a few of them have been retained, with around 120 people having already lost their jobs.
Administrators have explained that the remaining White Knight employees have only been kept on to assist with the process of winding down the business.
The company has been in existence for more than a century, having been founded as long ago as 1904.
According to the newly-appointed administrators, various management-led initiatives were undertaken in recent years with the aim of turning around the laundry company’s financial position.
“The facility at Eastbourne has been unable to process enough of a critical mass of laundry to make the plant financially sustainable,” appointed administrators from KPMG are quoted as saying in the locally-based The Argus newspaper.
“Despite the efforts of management to effect a turnaround, the management have taken the difficult decision to place the company into administration.
“Over the coming days, our priority is to ensure all employees who have been made redundant receive the information and guidance they need in order to claim monies owed from the Redundancy Payments Office.”
A statement given on White Knight Laundry Services’ website simply states that “the company is in administration and is no longer trading”.
White Knight’s customer base had included hotel and restaurant businesses in southern England, as well as education and healthcare organisations of various sorts.
An investment programme reportedly involving around £10 million was initiated by the company’s management team in 2013 with the hope being that new technologies and a new branding profile would help revive its financial prospects.
David Tutt from the Eastbourne Borough Council expressed his sadness that a significant local employer had been forced into administration.
“The news that White Knight has gone into administration after more than a century of trading is very sad indeed, especially coming just before Christmas, placing strain upon so many local families,” he said.
“My hope is that their loyal staff quickly find alternative employment.”