One of Highbridge’s largest employers has this week gone into administration with the loss of scores of jobs.

Woodberry Bros & Haines has recently experienced financial difficulties, and has not been successful in finding a buyer or new investment.

The long-running firm based on the Walrow Industrial Estate, which employed 175 staff and had a turnover of £10m, has manufactured furniture for retailers across the UK since 1949.

163 workers – out of a total workforce of 175 – were made redundant on Wednesday.

A spokesman for administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) told that late last week a trade supplier issued a winding up petition, accelerating the firm’s crisis.

As a result of this, the company’s directors had no alternative but to seek the protection of an administration.

Ross Connock, joint administrator and director at PwC, added: “Over recent years, the business has seen its turnover reduce and was in need of restructuring, but lacked the investment to do so.”

“The operations are well located with a strong employee, customer and supplier base but regrettably the current position of the company is such that we have had to make the immediate decision to cease operations which has resulted in the redundancy of the majority of employees.”

“Our immediate priority is to work alongside the remaining employees and assess the options available that could preserve and protect the company’s assets.”

“This will involve discussions with a number of key stakeholders and interested parties.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ross Connock and Matthew Hammond were appointed as joint administrators of Woodberry Bros & Haines Limited on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.

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