A LONG-STANDING company supplying industrial safety equipment will cease trading at the end of the month.
The Safety Equipment Centre (Huddersfield) Ltd, which occupies a prominent site at Bridge Street, Lockwood, is going into voluntary liquidation.
Owner Tony Stocks, who acquired the business in 1980 and has run it for 29 years, blamed the decline of local manufacturing, competition from online retailers and rising business rates for the decision to shut up shop at the end of April.
Mr Stocks, 61, said: “The demise of the local textile, construction, chemical and engineering industries has had a big impact on us.
“It was difficult enough up until Christmas, but since then it’s as if the tap has been turned off.
“We have also been hit by more bad debts in the past three months and that has had a knock-on effect.”
Mr Stocks said: “I have been through two previous recessions in the last 30 years – but this present recession is deeper and has happened more quickly than the others.”
Mr Stocks said the company had also been hit by a big rise in business rates – up by £588 this year to £5,772.
“It is that and the decline in revenue that has made my mind up to close,” he said.
Mr Stocks said the Lockwood shop, had been busier than for some time following his announcement of a closing-down sale.
“We supply every industry – from chemicals and textiles to local authority workers. But at the end of the day, we are just another local landmark business that’s going to disappear.”
Mr Stocks said he had not decided what to do next, adding: “I just want to clear my head at the end of the month when the liquidator takes things up.
“But I want to thank the people of Huddersfield and district for supporting us for the past 30 years. Without them, we wouldn’t have lasted this long.”
Mr Stocks acquired the business after a career working in the safety equipment sector. The business leases its premises at Lockwood.
The Safety Equipment Centre stocks hundreds of lines ranging from “fire exit” signs, hard hats and harnesses to protective suits and safety boots.
As well as supplying the local mills and factories, it has provided vital safety equipment to customers ranging from British Gas and the Central Electricity Generating Board to the BBC, DIY chain Wickes and even a Kuwaiti food processing factory.