Concerns mount over the future of Lettershop as the landlord steps in at the printing firm’s Leeds site following the collapse of YM Group

Concerns mount over the future of Lettershop as the landlord steps in at the printing firm’s Leeds site following the collapse of YM Group

The last month has seen one of Britain’s largest printing empires collapse into administration amongst recriminations, bitterness and the loss of millions of pounds, writes Harry Mottram.

One of the last parts of the YM Group that escaped the initial collapse has its future now in question after the landlord of Leeds-based Lettershop took possession of the factory site.

Writing for the trade website Print Week, journalist Jo Francis reported: “On 1 May an enforcement notice was posted on the factory stating that Learmonth Property Investment Co had entered the Whitehall Park site in accordance with its powers under clause 5.1 of the lease.

“Printweek understands that over the weekend Paragon Group – widely viewed as the most likely future owner of Lettershop – has been working urgently with FRP Advisory and the landlord to come up with a solution to the situation. It's not known how much work in progress is effectively trapped in the factory.”

The reporter added: “Vehicular access to the site was also blocked off.” And: “A source close to the situation said they believed Lettershop was months behind with the rent.”

The trade publication has followed the demise of the YM Group with interest due to its size and the shadow of an even larger collapse of a similar company a few years ago when Polestar went under. The reverberations of that calamity also echo with YM as the company took over the loss making Chantry from Polestar in 2016 without according to Print Week without gaining assurances from the existing customers of an ongoing commitment to work.

ICSM have noted the downfall of the YM Group through its vast network of member companies engaged in the printing industry and its allied sectors as well as their clients who became increasingly concerned over print deadlines not being met.

Joe Francis in a piece on the collapse raised some of the questions of what went wrong. She noted the board of directors had two accountants in the shape of CEO Stephen Goodman and CFO Lee Richardson who one would have been able to spot trouble in advance. Somehow, they didn’t spot until the last minute there wasn’t enough cash to pay the 500 plus workers their wages this spring which heralded the final shut down. There was also the calamity of buying Chantry along with its press when there was not enough business to keep it running and finally the Daily Mail contract that was won only because they pitched an uneconomical price.

Now administrators FRP Advisory are in charge and will make a report to reveal the reasons, which ICSM believes will show a string of poor management decisions. A spokesperson for ICSM said this was a classic case of ego getting in the way of basic business sense which has resulted in suppliers and workers left unpaid.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website or send an email to

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit

Tel 0844 854 1850 ___ Fax 01454 327 355
Privacy Policy   © ICSM All Rights Reserved