Symm & Company employed over 100 people

Oxford contractor Symm & Company has gone into administration after operating for over 200 years.

In its last set of accounts filed at Companies House, the firm narrowed pre-tax losses to just under £7,000 in the year to March 2018 after racking up losses of £2.3m the year before. Turnover rose 47% to £27.6m.

finlay building

The accounts, signed off in October 2018, said the improvement had been made by cutting overheads and winning more work. It chopped more than £1m from staff costs and pared back numbers from 163 to 141, adding that it had “a strong order book going forward”.

But last Wednesday, the firm, which began trading when King George III was on the throne until his death in 1820, called in the administrators.

In a statement, Critchleys LLP said: “The company has experienced recent tough trading conditions and the current pipeline of work is not sufficient to continue this longstanding and highly regarded Oxford brand.”

The firm’s joinery and cabinetry arms operated from two sites in Pershore, Worcestershire, with its main construction business based in Oxford.

Symm’s work covered specialist and general building, restoration, joinery, cabinetry and decoration.

It worked as main contractor on Merton College’s Finlay Building (pictured) in Oxford. The office scheme was designed by Allies and Morrison.