ONE of East Lancashire’s longest-established soft furnishings companies has gone under after 84 years in business.

Ryley and Hampson, which used to have a shop at 82 King William Street in Blackburn, had been supplying curtains, blinds and awnings since 1935. But bosses there filed for a creditors voluntary liquidation last month and administrators Megan Singleton and Mark Colman have now reported back on their financial affairs.

The administrators, who worked for Bamber Bridge based Leonard Curtis, have confirmed that the outfit, which traded from the Griffin Works in Newcastle Street, Blackburn, owed £86,323 in their final analysis.

Several employee claims, totalling £12,633, could be satisfied through their bank balance and accumulated debtors, according to Ms Singleton and Mr Colman.

But a further £74,463 in unsecured employee claims, along with more than £28,000 owed to the taxman, remains outstanding.

Remaining directors Graham Henderson, of Copster Green, and Barbara Holliday, who lives in Livesey, each had shareholdings of £3,100.

No-one was available for comment at their former rented factory in Griffin as the Lancashire Telegraph went to press.

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Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “It’s always sad when a company goes into liquidation and it’s particularly sad for the employees and I hope they will be dealt with fairly by the administrators.

“It’s a very competitive market out there and in the world of business some companies are successful and some are not, and it is a shame this company has to close.”

East Lancashire has been a hub for the home furnishings industry for many years, with some mixed fortunes. The turn of the last century saw the likes of Coats Viyella, in Burnley, go to the wall, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

But Darwen-based Herbert Parkinson, which has been trading for as long as Ryley and Hampson, has gone from strength to strength, last year opening a new £3million manufacturing line at their Monton Road factory.