A long-established North East family business has closed its doors with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
Fuda International Trading Company Ltd, also known as Hobart Rose, has ceased trading following challenging trading conditions, reduction in sales and the pressures of Brexit.
The soft furnishings company – which has produced products for the likes of Dunelm, John Lewis and Next – closed its doors for the final time on Tuesday, with the entire 122 workforce losing their jobs.
Fuda – based in Middle Engine Lane in North Shields – had recently lost a major contract, and management officials were unable to reach an agreement with creditors or find alternative funding.
The company’s affairs are now being dealt with by chartered accountants Tait Walker.
A spokesman for the company said: “Trading conditions remained challenging throughout the last year, ‘Brexit’ challenged margins and there was a significant reduction in sales in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period.
“Despite an extensive sales effort and a cost cutting programme implemented over several months, it has not been possible to trade out of these losses.
“Agreements were not able to be made with creditors regarding repayment schedules despite the best efforts of the directors, additional funding could not be secured, leaving them with no alternative other than to release the workforce following the payment of April’s salary.
“The directors are now focussed on working with customers and suppliers alike to identify an appropriate route forward.”
Two years ago, the company had hoped to create 100 new jobs over the next three years after receiving £285,000 following a successful application to the Let’s Grow Fund.
The funding had been earmarked to expand the business and buy additional premises.
Speaking at the time, executive chairman David Rose said: “We are excited that we have been selected to receive this funding.
“It will enable further development of our business, contributing to the acquisition of additional premises and the creation of over 100 new jobs in North Tyneside within three years.”
The expansion took the soft furnishings manufacturer into the design and manufacture of occasional furniture; sofas, chairs and accessories for its customer base of major retailers.
David said: “We decided to investigate extending our product range into occasional furniture, an alternative segment in the home decor market.”