Stephenson enters liquidation

David McCourt

Manchester practice Roger Stephenson Architects has entered liquidation owing more than £500,000 to unsecured creditors.

The firm was officially wound up earlier this month.

Roger Stephenson Architects was born from Stephenson Bell, which collapsed into administration in summer 2011. Now, 18 months later, the new company has followed.

Managing director Roger Stephenson has set up a new studio, Stephenson: ISA Studio, and is working out of Ian Simpson Architects' offices at Riverside in Manchester.

The shareholding of the new company is split between Stephenson, Simpson and partner Rachel Haugh.

According to a statement of affairs prepared by the liquidator, the company owed employees more than £48,000 plus a further £153,579 to the Redundancy Payments Service, a government body which pays statutory entitlements to redundancy and associated payments when an employer cannot or will not pay its employees.

The largest single creditor, owed just under £226,000, is the taxman. Stephenson himself lost £78,000, whilst associate directors Keith Hamilton and Jyh Yuan Lee were owed more than £40,000. Trade creditors were owed £48,000.

The company blamed the collapse on clients being unable to raise funding for projects, which meant it was being asked to do jobs for free or at risk.

A small number of staff have followed Stephenson across to the new practice, which has been set up as a subsidiary of Ian Simpson Architects.

Stephenson said: "We are excited about the new studio and expect the synergy between the two practices to offer an added professional dimension for our clients."

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