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John Parker & Son in Canterbury facing administration

By Joe Wright

Hundreds of jobs could be at risk as a long-standing steel firm sits on the brink of falling into administration.

John Parker & Son in Canterbury, which started out in 1904, and now employs 450 people across the country making it one of the largest steel stockholder and processors in the UK .

But in a note sent to its suppliers, the Vauxhall Road-based company has confirmed it has filed a Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators.

John Parker & Son in Canterbury (14326373)
John Parker & Son in Canterbury (14326373)

The Argus media group reports that the notice states: “This does not mean that the company is in administration, but it does mean that an administration process is possible in the near future.”

The firm originated when founder John Parker set up an ironmonger store in The Parade. As well as the large processing depot in Canterbury on the Maybrook Retail Park, it also has a site in Shoreham.

Argus reports that John Parker & Son has been up for sale “for some time and the company hopes to complete a sale by the end of the month”.

In the letter sent to suppliers, the steel firm says it has the support of its bank as it prepares to go into administration.

After success selling tools in The Parade, John Parker acquired a small yard in Watling Street and later moved to Rhodaus Town. In 1970, the firm set up in its current location.

John Parker & Son could go into administration (14326602)
John Parker & Son could go into administration (14326602)

Just two months ago, British Steel plunged into insolvency after talks with the government over an emergency loan broke down.

Meridian Metal Trading also fell into administration in April. Guy Parker, the great-grandson of founder John is the current chairman of the privately-owned business.

When approached by KentOnline, the firm denied to comment.

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