Confusion over next steps for ex-Bradley Group workers

By Jo Francis, Thursday 12 September 2019

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Progress in the restructuring at two Bradley Group companies appears to have stalled, with former staff still unable to claim redundancy payments after a specialist business insolvency firm declined to work on the case.

nicholson-and-bass-site

Nicholson Bass site: trading name still in use

Last week the company said that 14 former employees of Nicholson & Bass and Quinns Belfast (2009), who lost their jobs on 16 August, should contact Jessica Hodgson at Bespoke Insolvency Solutions to progress their claims for taxpayer-funded redundancy payments.

Bradley Group had said at the time that it believed that the owners of Nicholson & Bass and Quinns Belfast (2009) were “moving the entities into receivership”.

However, PrintWeek has learned that Bespoke Insolvency Solutions has declined to take the case on, leaving former employees in limbo and still unpaid.

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester firm said: “They did approach us but we had to decline as they are in Northern Ireland.”

One former employee commented: “We are at a total loss here of how to proceed. We’re just not getting any information.”

Neither Nicholson & Bass nor Quinns Belfast (2009) appeared to be in any form of receivership at the time of writing. The sole director of both companies is John McGrath.

A spokesman for the Bradley Group said the firm had been advised not to comment on the situation due to ongoing enquiries by the Police Service of Northern Ireland into alleged threats made to staff and directors at the company.

The trading names of Nicholson Bass and Quinnstheprinters.com are still in use by the Bradley Group (UK), operating from the Mallusk factory near Belfast that was originally home to Nicholson & Bass.

Nicholson Bass took out a full page advertisement for its services in the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week.

According to the most recent filings at Companies House, Bradley Group (UK) was registered as having a controlling interest in Quinns Belfast (2009) in June, on the same day that Stephen Bradley MBE, the father of Bradley Group managing director Peter Bradley, ceased to be a person with significant control. £1.7m of shares in the company were also allotted at the same time.

Bradley Group 2017, registered in the Isle of Man, has a controlling interest in Nicholson & Bass.

This story is closed to comments due to the police enquiry.

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