UNCERTAINTY reigned today over the future of one of the UK’s lighting industry’s most recognisable brands, Fitzgerald Lighting Cornwall Limited.
Sources close to the company say it is set to enter into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which allows it breathing space from its financial commitments while it organises a restructuring, which could include job losses and a partial or full sale.
Local news website Cornwall Live says it has spoken to an employee who has said that workers based at the Bodmin factory were told earlier this week that they were ‘losing their jobs’.
Fitzgerald Lighting Cornwall is known simply as Fitzgerald Lighting and manufactures LED panels, battens, high bays, emergency lighting units, downlights and exterior luminaires at the facility, which includes a powder-coating line, full test facilities and laser cutting facilities.
Its key markets include the educational, healthcare, industrial and commercial sectors. The workforce comprises around 90 operatives.
The company has promoted itself on its British manufacturing capacity and its flexible capability to respond quickly to UK customers.
However, like all European lighting firms, it has faced stiff competition from low-cost Chinese imports which have put enormous pressure on margins.
The original company, Fitzgerald Lighting Limited, was founded by Peter Fitzgerald, a prominent name in the industry and a former president of the Lighting Industry Federation, the precursor of the Lighting Industry Association.
That firm went into administration in December 2008. A new company, Fitzgerald Lighting Cornwall Limited, was established and went on to employ many of the original employees. Its managing director was Peter’s son Tim.
Both Peter and Tim are directors, as is Kuwait-based Ahsan Waris. The company was not available for comment today.