Norville Group enters into administration

Administrators have been appointed for the optical supplier, with 134 employees made redundant


Optical manufacturer, The Norville Group, has gone into administration, with 134 employees being made redundant.

The Gloucestershire-based company has sites in Bolton, Seaham and Livingston.

Business restructuring partners, Simon Girling and Christopher Marsden of the accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO, were appointed joint administrators of the company on 3 July.

The Norville Group employed 162 staff across four sites in the UK. BDO confirmed that 134 employees have been made redundant, while a skeleton staff of 28 people have remained to help wind up the business, including completing orders already in progress.

The confirmation comes a week after the news that the retail division of the group, Norville Opticians, was saved from administration in a sale to the Hakim Group.

In a statement, BDO confirmed the completion of the sale to the Hakim Group on 22 June, in which Mr Girling explained that “difficult trading conditions were exacerbated by COVID-19 and the ensuing longer term cash flow issues.”

As a separate business, Norville’s manufacturing laboratory was not included in the agreement with the Hakim Group.

The administrators are inviting offers for residual parts of the Norville Group business and assets from interested parties.

Mr Girling commented: “Unfortunately the ongoing economic climate and difficult trading conditions meant that we were unable to sell the business as a whole. However, we are hopeful of securing a sale of parts of the business and associated assets and would encourage interested parties to get in touch.”

In a letter to customers seen by OT, the Norville chairman, Frank Norville, thanked customers for their “long support” for the company, adding “I am sorry to inflict this difficulty on your team but we have been shocked by the total lack of financial support from anywhere.”

Alongside producing a range of lenses and supplying lens brands, the Norville Group supplies eyewear brands including Barbour, Barbour International, Dana Buchman, Duck & Cover, Progear and Racing Green. The manufacturer also produced a number of in-house brands including Superlite and Blitz Kids, in addition to a range of safety eyewear and sports prescription frames.