HISTORIC St Helens soft-furnishing manufacturer Ena Shaw has announced it has gone into administration in a devastating blow that is expected to cost more than 160 jobs. 

Established in 1932, Ena Shaw is a family run business specialising in the manufacture and resale of soft furnishings, employing 167 members of staff.

The company has a factory at Lea Green and a store on Duke Street, St Helens.

The decision to appoint administrators was made by the directors of Ena Shaw after suffering difficult trading conditions.

Despite the best efforts of the directors and administrators, the firm has stated that it was not possible to find a buyer for the business as a going concern.

A spokesman for the firm said: "The company has ceased to trade with immediate effect, and regrettably the majority of the employees have been made redundant, while a small number of staff have been retained in the short term to assist administrators with the wind down of operations."

Lindsey Cooper and Chris Ratten of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed Joint Administrators.

Lindsey Cooper, partner at RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP and one of the joint Administrators, said: "Ena Shaw has recently faced challenging trading conditions resulting from an unsettled retail market and increased competition from online and overseas manufacturers.

"It is always very sad when a long-standing family business with close community ties has to close.

"We will be working alongside staff from Job Centre Plus to assist employees with their claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

"Creditors, customers and other interested parties will be contacted in due course."

As well as its manufacturing centre in Lea Green, Ena Shaw are known to residents because of their Duke Street store, Ena Shaw Home.

Their original store was opened by machinist Ena Shaw in 1932 on Corporation Street, where she made loose covers and curtains with fabrics that customers supplied themselves.

Ena continued throughout the Second World War, selling mainly blackout curtains in exchange for ration coupons. In recent years the company hit the headlines after making curtains for accommodation at London 2012’s Olympic Village.