BDO handles administration of 150-year-old contractor, famous for high-end work including Number 10 Downing St

Historic contractor Killby & Gayford, famous for working on scores of prestigious projects including Number 10 Downing Street, today went into administration.

Sources close to the £77m turnover firm, which was founded in 1860 and specialised in high-end fit-out work, said that administrator BDO had been appointed this morning.

Emma Bridges from specialist credit agency Top Service said it had received 80 ”adverse reports” from 28 different customers about Killby & Gayford in the last year, with a significant number of county court judgements being made against the company in February, March and April of this year.

“We have seen a significant change in the length of time is has taken Killby & Gayford to pay its suppliers over the last few months,” she added.

“This coupled with the mounting county court judgements registered against them means this morning’s news has come as no surprise to us.”

Killby & Gayford, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010, boasted a strong City of London presence but also had offices in Billericay, Cambridge, Clapham and Leeds.

Its services included an in-house joinery division and maintenance.

As well as working on Number 10 Downing Street, when Tony Blair was prime minister in 2008, Killby & Gayford also worked for the Royal household, auctioneer Sotherby’s and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Both BDO and Killby & Gayford were unavailable for comment but Nigel Bellamy, director at fit-out contractor 8build, called the news a “real shame”.

“They are a very old established company that’s had a very strong reputation,” he added.

“We would be interested in taking a look at some of their work, I’m sure a lot of firms would. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone rescues the brand as it’s still got value in the market.”

According to the latest accounts filed at Companies House, Killby & Gayford made a pre-tax profit of £1.9m in 2010, slightly down from the £2.2m the year before.

The firm’s chairman Robin Williams resigned last October, also according to Companies House.

It is not yet known how many jobs are now at risk.