York café shuts suddenly after company collapse

It will be housed in the old Filmore & Union on Low Petergate, York. Photograph: YorkMix
26 May 2019 @ 8.34 pm
| Business, Food & drink

Filmore & Union in York has shut without warning.

A sign on the door of the Low Petergate café says: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, this store has had to close.”

The group, which ran 17 cafés, went into administration on Friday (24 May).

Ten of those cafés, including the ones at York Railway Station and inside the John Lewis store at Vangarde shopping centre, have been bought out of administration by the Coffeesmiths Collective Ltd.

It has also bought the company’s production kitchens based in Wetherby.

But the Low Petergate café is one of seven that have not been bought in the deal and have closed. Altogether 80 staff have lost their jobs.

Couldn’t sell them all

The sign on the door
Phil Pierce and Paul Whitwam, partners at lawyers FRP Advisory LLP, were appointed joint administrators after the business struggled to maintain cash flow after a period of challenging trading.

They told the Yorkshire Evening Post:

  • 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.

The Low Petergate café after its refurbishment. Photograph: Filmore & Union
The Low Petergate café in York was the first to open in 2012.

In November 2017 it reopened after a £100K refit aiming to be ‘York’s hottest new evening out destination’.

Staff from the Skipton branch, which has also closed, said someone came to their café at 4pm on Friday and told them it was shutting.

They had to hand over the keys and leave immediately. Many have been left out of pocket as the wages due on Friday haven’t been paid.

Filmore & Union was given a £3.5m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) in 2017 to open new cafés.