THIRTY-eight people have been made redundant after the collapse of a well-established shopfitting firm in East Lancashire.

Administrators were called in at JKB Shopfitting, in Nelson, earlier this month after the Southfield Street outfit encountered a number of trading difficulties.

And it has now been confirmed that the operation, which specialised in refits for leading high street names such as Argos and TK Maxx and had been around for more than 20 years, is no longer a viable proposition.

One former worker, who asked not to be named, said that the writing had been on the wall for staff for some time.

“Around six months ago there were around 50 of us but that has dwindled over the past few weeks,” he said.

“This announcement had been expected and we’ll just have to see what happens with us from here.”

Specialist business advisory firm, Preston-based FRP Advisory, was drafted in and David Acland and Lila Thomas were appointed as joint administrators for the bespoke joinery business, which was based latterly at the old Fort Vale Engineering site.

While the business and its assets have been placed on the market, all 38 workers have been made redundant, with tough high street trading conditions said to be among the reasons for JKB’s demise.

Ms Thomas said: “Due to significant challenges facing the retail sector, specifically those affecting retailers with a presence on the high street, JKB Shopfitting had suffered a number of financial challenges.

“Despite every effort to save the company, the business was unfortunately unable to continue trading due to its cash position.

“Our focus is now supporting those employees affected during this difficult time and seeking a buyer for the business and its assets.”

First incorporated in December 1998, the two remaining listed directors, at the time of the administration, are Padiham-based Christopher Adams and Mark Henry, who lives in the Rosehill area of Burnley.

Anyone who has an interest in JKB can contact Jessica Leeming at FRP Advisory on 01772 440700.