Outrage as Filmore and Union closes in Harrogate - statement from company's administrators

Harrogate's branch of Filmore and Union is among those to have suddenly closed. Picture: Google.
Harrogate's branch of Filmore and Union is among those to have suddenly closed. Picture: Google.

Former employees who have been made redundant from cafe chain Filmore and Union have called for a boycott of the branches that remain open - Harrogate's Filmore and Union is among the list of sudden closures.

Harrogate Filmore and Union closure - response to anger over treatment of staff

A number of angered staff have taken to social media to express their outrage over what they have described as a 'total lack of communication,' after the business went into administration.

The Filmore and Union Group has now been acquired out of administration in a pre-pack deal that has saved more than 150 jobs, but around 80 jobs have been lost.

Phil Pierce and Paul Whitwam, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, were appointed Joint Administrators on May 24 after the business suffered severe cash flow pressures following a period of challenging trading.

Filmore and Union operated 17 sites in the North of England, which included stand-alone cafes, in-store and train station cafes, as well as a Head Office and production kitchen in Wetherby. The company employed around 230 people.

Following an accelerated sales process and their subsequent appointment, the Joint Administrators secured a partial sale of the business and assets to Coffeesmiths Collective Ltd, the owner of a number of speciality coffee companies, which has acquired 10 of the Filmore & Union trading sites and the production kitchen. 150 employees have transferred across to the new owner. The remaining sites have ceased trading with immediate effect, resulting in around 80 employees being made redundant.

Partner Phil Pierce said: “Filmore and Union is a well-known and popular independent chain with a strong reputation across the North of England. We are pleased to have been able to secure a deal which crucially protects a large number of jobs in the local area and will help to maximise returns for creditors. We wish the team at Coffeesmiths Collective all the best as they continue to expand their business.

“Unfortunately, it has not been possible to secure the sale of all sites, and we are working with the Redundancy Payments Service to provide support for all employees affected at this difficult time.”

Former staff at the Skipton branch have been left angered by the situation, and what they have described as a lack of communication.

Jamie Crabtree, who was a general manager at the Skipton cafe, said there were around 14 staff at the site.

He said: “They came in on Friday and basically said we had to shut up the business. They took the keys, locked the place up and we were all sent on our way with no information.”

Mr Crabtree also sent out a plea to local employers to try and get former members of his team back into work.

Filmore and Union was established in 2012 by Adele Ashley with the aim of serving fresh and seasonal food.

In September 2017, Filmore and Union was given a £3.5m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to open new sites.

At the time, Ms Ashley said: “We have built a loyal customer base who feel an affinity to the brand and share our passion for eating well.

Filmore and Union sites purchased by Coffeesmiths Collective Limited

Beverley

Ilkley

Newcastle (John Lewis)

Nottingham (John Lewis)

York (John Lewis)

Redbrick Mill

Wetherby

York Train Station (platform 3 and platform 8)

Newcastle Train Station

Production Kitchen (Wetherby)

Closed sites

York city centre

Harrogate

Skipton

Moortown

Harrogate Deli

Wetherby Deli

Jesmond

Head Office (Wetherby)