The law firm Grant Thornton UK was chosen for the Cornish pasty producer’s closure, and Lucy Winterborne and Alistair Wardell have been selected as the joint administrators. Although there were several attempts to sell the business in the weeks leading up to the decision, no solution could be found.
“Despite the best efforts of management, cash has deteriorated rapidly leaving the directors with no choice but to close the business,” said a statement from Grant Thornton. “Regrettably, it has not been possible to continue to trade the business in administration and so 109 employees are being made redundant. Ten employees have been retained to assist with the close down of the business and the sale of stock.”
It was a heart-breaking moment for members of staff, who found out that their food jobs had disappeared after being called into their site before they were due to start work. They were brought into the Indian Queens, Newquay site at 6am to hear the announcement that everyone had been made redundant with immediate effect – not what anyone would want to hear early in the morning.
While ten of them still remain to help close everything down, the rest are out of work with no notice. This is sure to be very difficult for the local community, with so many people now out looking for a change of jobs at once. This may mean the need to travel for work for many of those who are searching, as well as the possibility that some will remain out of work for the longer term.
It’s a shame to see the demise of the bakery, which had been running for almost 30 years until the decision to close the business was made. It was established in Crantock, as the name suggests, before moving to a new home in Newquay which allowed for more space.
They were one of the largest employers in the Duchy, with more than 100 production and manufacturing jobs now falling under the axe. Accountants KPMG reported that they had a turnover of £13 million last year, and were producing more than 80,000 pasties a week at their peak.
They are certainly not the only food manufacturing business to have gone into administration this year, with plenty of others also feeling the pressure to shut up shop. Rising costs have been a key factor in many of the closures, with company owners citing money pressures as well as losses of contracts. With economic difficulties arising from the Brexit vote and the uncertainty of the UK’s future within the EU, plenty of businesses in the food and drink sector have been feeling the squeeze. While some are able to cut out parts of their operations in order to save those which are the most profitable, others have had no choice but to stop operating or sell the business whole.
That they are in the same boat as many others will be no consolation to the workers now looking for new positions. They will be hoping that a new manufacturer will be able to step in and purchase the manufacturing facility at a cut price, thereby allowing processing to continue – even if it takes a short while for renovations to be made and new equipment to be brought in to suit the new owner’s requirements.