A businessman who was helping the NHS by providing free face masks in the fight against coronavirus is appealing for help after he lost everything in a major fire that ripped through his business causing a major incident involving 20 fire crews.
Neil Brabbs, who owns ARC Window Films watched in horror as his business was destroyed in the blaze which started at 11.10am last Wednesday at a nearby plastic recycling plant.
He said “There is literally nothing left, every last bit went up in smoke. Having had the chance to fully assess the damage I may need a little help getting my dream back on track towards rebuilding my business on Sankey Valley Industrial Estate. We are trying to recoup money via insurance but there is likely to be a lengthy legal battle before we get anywhere and potentially, a substantial shortfall, the truth is we just don’t know.
“Other than the recycling plant where it started, I think we are the only business to have been totally destroyed by the fire. There is literally nothing left, every last bit went up in smoke. The only positive seems to be that nobody was hurt, for which I am grateful.”
Local resident Amanda Yoxall who lives in Wargrave, not far from the site, responded to his Gofundme appeal saying, “I watched this horror unfold all day long, I hope you can make a go of this business again. Know that all of Newton and Earlstown feels for you”.
ARC Window films employs five staff who are currently furloughed. Prior to the pandemic the business was doing well, had growth year on year and had big ambitions, 2020 was its best year yet. Neil had been using his downtime whilst the business was closed to go in each day and produce handmade face visors from bomb blast window film, which he donated free of charge to NHS and key workers, using his own money to buy the materials.
He has currently managed to raise £6,000 of a £50,000 target to rebuild his business.
If you can help Neil his gofundme page is https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-us-to-rebuild