Northampton

Fairline Boats: About 380 jobs to go at Corby and Oundle

Fairline boats
Image caption Unite said staff at Fairline Boats had produced "a top-of-the range" product since 1963

About 380 jobs are to go at a luxury boat builder which went into administration last week.

Fairline Boats, with bases at Corby and Oundle in Northamptonshire, was taken over by private equity firm Wessex Bristol Investments in October.

Administrators FRP Advisory will keep 69 staff on temporarily to liaise with current clients and market the company for sale.

Unite union organiser Mick Orpin said the company had a viable future.

The administrators also said "a handful of staff" will remain at the motor yacht company's testing site in Ipswich in Suffolk.

Before entering administration, the company employed 450 people in Northamptonshire.

Image copyright Fairline Boats
Image caption The boats sell from £500,000 to £5m each

FRP Advisory is liaising with staff, customers, suppliers and agents to "ensure value can be realised from servicing existing orders", according to joint administrator Alastair Massey.

"The business is being marketed for sale... Fairline is a proud brand and has an array of loyal customers," he said.

Mr Orpin said the job losses were "a real financial body blow to staff facing a grim Christmas" and the Fairline still had "a viable and sustainable future with good management".

On 4 December, Conservative MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire Tom Pursglove said he had written to the secretary of state for business to encourage an investigation into the company's management.

Fairline was put into administration by private equity fund Better Capital on 2 December - ten weeks after it sold it to Wessex Bristol, for a deferred £2m.

A spokesman for Better Capital said administrators were called in after Wessex Bristol failed to deliver promised funds to Fairline which were "essential for it to function".

But Ayiaz Ahmed, who runs Wessex Bristol, said he was "gutted" at the decision and he "could have turned this business around".

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