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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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West Cumbrian firm goes into administration

WESTLAKES Scientific Consulting Ltd, which employs 65 staff across its two West Cumbrian sites, has gone into administration.

The firm, which provides environmental consulting and health research services, has offices at Westlakes Science and Technology Park (near Whitehaven) and Dovenby.

It has blamed a downturn in sales and the scale of the company's pension liabilities for the move.

Westlakes is a subsidiary of CentrLan Holdgins Ltd, and ultimately the University of Central Lancashire. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were appointed joint administrators today (Thursday).

Ian Green, of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, sald: “The research completed by Westlakes Scientific Consulting Limited is clearly of significant importance to the UK, particularly the nuclear industry.

"We are therefore working closely with key stakeholders to identify a positive outcome for the administration. We are currently exploring the possibility of a sale and are extremely keen to speak to anyone interested in acquiring all or part of the business.”

Dr Graham Baldwin, chairman of Westlakes Scientific Consulting, said: “It is with great regret that today the Board of Westlakes Scientific Consulting has appointed administrators to the business.

"The primary reason for this step is a downturn in sales and the scale of the company’s pension liabilities which have had a serious impact on its ability to continue as a going concern.

"The administrators will be working with the management of the business to secure the best outcome for all stakeholders including both staff and creditors.”

The announcement today has no impact on the remainder of CentraLan Holdings Limited or the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) as a whole. There will be no impact on students studying at the Westlakes campus or the courses offered by UCLan as a result of the announcement today.

Mick Farley, director of UCLan, said: "On behalf of UCLan I'd want to emphasise that the financial, legal and audit advice left the Company with no alterrnative, regrettable though it is. I'd also want to emphasise that the decision in no way diminishes UCLan's commitment to West Cumbria and the Energy Coast nor to UCLan continuing to support the County's further education colleges, including Lakes College, deliver UCLan validated and franchised degrees."

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