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Bellwater founders after Swedish failure

SPECIALIST fit-out firm Bellwater has gone into administration just weeks after one of its subsidiaries went under in Sweden.

The Surrey-based firm called in the administrators last week two months after the plug was pulled on its operation in Stockholm. One insider said: 'The minute Sweden went clients started to get jittery and with things going quiet in the UK they had nothing to rely on.'

Bellwater, which was formed in 1991, specialised in fit-out work for IT and data centres but had been targeting other sectors after its core work began to dry up.

Last June it recruited Steve Root from Interior as managing director to spearhead a push into more commercial work.

Latest accounts for the year ending September 2002 show turnover falling from £61.6 million in 2001 to £37 million. Profits collapsed from £2.6 million to a £2.8 million loss while the number of employees fell by 34 to 148.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Jackson Norton are jointly handling the administration. A PwC spokeswoman said: 'Trading has ceased and the majority of staff, which is around 55, have been made redundant.'