100 jobs at risk as company calls in the administrators

Sulby House office block in Sudbury, which until recently was occupied by Prolog

Sulby House office block in Sudbury, which until recently was occupied by Prolog - Credit: Archant

A company which has been operating in Suffolk for more than 20 years has gone into administration, in a town where another major employer has been earmarked for closure.

Prolog is a provider of warehousing, distribution and logistics services that currently has 96 employees plus agency staff at its contact centre in Sudbury, as well as employing 522 people in Nottinghamshire.

The company’s difficulties come at a challenging time for Sudbury, which is also reeling from the news that Delphi Diesel Systems is scaling down its operation at its Newton Road site ahead of a full closure in 2020, with the loss of around 500 jobs.

Prolog had once employed 400 people in Sudbury, and had intended to build two huge warehouses, offices and a service yard on land off Church Field Road.

In 2014, after a three-year battle, it finally gained permission to go ahead with its expansion plans. But objectors, including Lady Hart of Grade II listed Chilton Hall, launched a challenge against the scheme in the High Court via a judicial review, which saw the application quashed on a technicality.

Following the relocation of Prolog’s office from Sulby House in the town’s North Street to Northern Road, the company sold its former call centre at the end of June for more than £1.75m.

Simon Barrett, Babergh’s portfolio holder for growth and business, said that although the news of Prolog’s collapse was sad, it was not surprising. “This was always the threat, because planning permission always took so long to through (for the Church Field Road site) and was then denied. Prolog always said that this would cause problems for the company, and this is what has come to life.

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“It just goes to show how careful we have to be to attract and retain businesses, because when they go, it can have a real impact on the local economy. Luckily, we have low unemployment in the area, it’s currently at 4%, but any job losses might lead to a spike in the figures.”

Rebecca Dacre and Simon Chandler of Mazars LLP have been appointed as joint administrators of Prolog, which is registered as Promotional Logistics Limited.

The company went into administration on Monday following the withdrawal of financial support by a group company.

The joint administrators have written to customers to inform them of the situation and to outline next steps.

They said in a statement: “Thanks to the support of all of Prolog’s employees, as well as its customers, the company is continuing to operate while the Joint Administrators seek a purchaser. The business has already generated significant interest from potential buyers, and the Joint Administrators welcome further enquiries.”

Simon Chandler, Mazars’ head of Restructuring Services and joint administrator, explained that they are seeking to engage with all stakeholders “to find a way forward that minimises disruption and gives us the best chance of retaining the workforce.”

He added: “The customers we have contacted have been responding very positively, and this is in part due to the excellent service and commitment shown by the company’s workforce in the past. We will continue working with all parties to reach the most positive solution possible.

“Even at this early stage, I would like to thank the staff and customers for their positivity and support at what is a very difficult time.”

All staff have been notified and have continued working to support the company.

Prolog has been contacted and has not yet responded to requests for comment.