Magazine firm folds as bank finance dries up
A Bath-based independent publishing firm has collapsed with the loss of 22 jobs.
Merricks Media, which was run from offices at Riverside Court off Lower Bristol Road, has gone into liquidation after 11 years in the city.
The firm was founded by entrepreneur Lisa Doerr who began her own career in publishing by working in media sales for Bath-based industry giant Future.
The mother-of-three, who invested £200,000 of her own money into the business, said the collapse of Merricks was a sad day for independent publishing and the end of an era.
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Mrs Doerr plans to carry on with a handful of the company's eight magazines with a focus on online activity and a skeleton staff of around three people.
She said: "After 11 years and a lot of work and passion, the business closed due to a lack of finance from the banks.
"The company's debts are in the hands of the liquidators.
"When we needed support, the banks didn't give us that support and the attempt to restructure and refinance.
"The business was carrying quite a bit of debt and the bank was not willing to put together a rescue plan with outside investors."
Merricks began with consumer continental lifestyle magazine French before branching out into a further seven titles and last year hired an events team with a view to running a series of shows based around its beauty and cosmetics title Brand New You.
The company also launched Celebrity Homes , a monthly title focusing on the properties of the rich and famous, but this folded in 2004 after four issues.
At one stage Merricks employed around 60 people but this had been reduced, partially through natural wastage, shortly before its collapse.
The firm's staff were all based in and around Bath and Bristol across editorial and sales departments.
Mrs Doerr said: "A lot of niche titles like ours are dying and people are not buying property overseas.
"I employed a lot of good people over the years and some of them had been with us for up to nine years.
"It will be sad to see them go."