Fit-out contractor Ibex Interiors has set up an early payment “club” in an attempt to prevent its joinery suppliers from going bust.

The six members of the Ibex Specialist Joinery Club will receive agreed “materials off site” payments averaging £300,000, allowing them to buy the wood needed for a project before beginning work. This is particularly important for joinery subcontractors, who sometimes have to buy materials a long time before installation.

Members of the Ibex club will not have to pay a retention and will receive preferential treatment when work is awarded. In return, Ibex said it wanted club members to work closely with its project teams.

Keith Ashcroft, Ibex’s construction director, said the fit-out sector was “notorious” for companies and trade contractors going bust. He said: “We will be encouraging others to follow our lead, and help consign some of the fit-out industry’s bad habits to history.”

Fit-out companies that have gone into administration in the past three years include Connaught Mason, Curzon and Benson.