Northampton

Fairline Boats: New owners buy firm but close a factory

Fairline motor yacht
Image caption New owners Fairline Yachts took over the boat-building company from administrators and will operate from its Oundle base

The takeover of a luxury boat-builder by two Russian investors will see the closure of one of the company's two factories, it has been confirmed.

Fairline Boats, based in Oundle, Northamptonshire, went into administration at the end of last year with the loss of 374 jobs.

The new business, Fairline Yachts, wants to re-employ 100 workers but will close its other factory in Corby.

Managing director Russell Currie said Fairline Yachts had "a great future".

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

Tom Beattie, leader of Corby Borough Council, said the closure of the factory and the redundancies was "not good news for the Corby plant".

However, he added this had been "tempered by the fact the company itself had been saved".

When the company went into administration in December, it employed 374 people at its two Northamptonshire bases.

'Passionate boat owners'

The new owners said orders received by Fairline Boats, including any boats not yet built, would be completed and it was asking old staff to apply for jobs.

"To ensure continuation of production of the boats, the company invites previous employees to apply for approximately 100 jobs that will be immediately available." the firm said.

The site at Corby will be closed down once current orders are finished. The UK-based Russian investors are said to be "passionate boat owners".

The firm plans to manufacture 30-40 boats at its Oundle base, using test facilities at an Ipswich marina.

This was expected this to increase to "50 boats per year in the second year, and up to 100 boats by year three".

Fairline Yachts is part of Fairline Acquisitions Limited and its other business interests include high-tech products, IT and media.

The buy-out deal is reported to be worth £4.5m according to the Financial Times.

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