Around 380 jobs axed at boat builder Fairline - but some Ipswich-based staff are kept on

The Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

The Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

Around 380 staff at luxury boat builder Fairline have been made redundandant, it was confirmed today – but a small number of workers have been retained at the company’s test facility in Ipswich.

Most of the 450 employees at Fairline, which went into administration earlier this month, are based at its design and manufacturing sites in Corby and Oundle in Northamptonshire, but the company carries out testing of completed craft from a site at the Wet Dock in Ipswich.

Joint administrators Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey, of FRP Advisory, said today that, following an assessment of the business and its financial position, a total of 69 staff had been retained to enable it to continue to trade.

This included servicing existing orders and liaising with customers, suppliers and boat dealers while also engaging with interested parties as part of efforts to market the business and assets for sale.

They added: “The joint administrators continue to liaise with staff trade unions and their representatives and are now assisting those members of staff who have been made redundant with the necessary support to submit timely claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

“While work continues to service a number of orders across the business, the joint administrators remain focused on marketing the business for sale.”

Although most of the staff retained are located at Corby and Oundle, FRP said that “a handful” of staff – understood to number about four – also remained at the Ipswich test facility. A spokesman for the administrators was unable to confirm whether any Ipswich-base staff were among those made redundant.

Most Read

Mick Orpin, regional officer for the Unite union, said: “While not unexpected, the news today is a real financial body blow to staff facing a grim Christmas and who will be searching for new employment in the New Year.”

And he added: “We urge the administrators to redouble their efforts to find such a buyer for this company.”

Fairline was acquired in October by Somerset-based luxury brands investor Wessex Bristol from private equity fund Better Capital.

The new owners initially laid off around 100 staff and then warned of redundancies as it attempted to negotiate a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors. No deal was agreed, with administrators being appointed on December 2.