STAFF have been left devastated after a home improvement firm in Winsford has collapsed.

The retail business of Kairos Group Limited has been closed with immediate effect.

The company which employs 223 people is set to appoint administrators in the next few days.

Kairos Group Limited, on Road One, Winsford Industrial Estate, was one of the UK’s largest privately owned home improvement businesses and traded as Weatherseal, Zenith, St Andrews Glass, Penicuik, St Helen’s Glass.

Adrian Kirk, director of Kairos Group Limited, said: “We were hoping to continue longer with a sales process of the business we were undertaking but unfortunately we have to close prematurely.

"The reason for this is that our retail finance facility bank has taken the decision to withhold over £300,000 of monies for jobs we have fitted over the last two weeks.

"This money was earmarked for customer deposits, employees and self-employed subcontractors and the ability to finish all outstanding installations.

“The directors are devastated by this decision and has left us no option but to close.We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees and self-employed subcontractors for their hard work and loyalty and wish them every success in the future.”

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Administrators are expected to be on hand to provide assistance on any employees' claims or other refund queries.