North Suffolk firm safeguards 120 jobs
THE economy of north Suffolk has received a boost after a leading company came out of administration and safeguarded 120 jobs.LEC Marine (Lowestoft) is one of the area's biggest employers but was rocked last year when it lost one of its major customers.
THE economy of north Suffolk has received a boost after a leading company came out of administration and safeguarded 120 jobs.
LEC Marine (Lowestoft) is one of the area's biggest employers but was rocked last year when it lost one of its major customers.
Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon were forced to call in receivers leaving substantial amounts owed to a number of contractors that in the case of LEC Marine was £1 million.
Managers at the Lowestoft-based company filed for administration in October 2003 and were forced to axe 45 jobs immediately and put the future of 120 other employees under review.
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However, the 120 jobs have now been saved as LEC's creditors accepted proposals put forward by Steven Law, of Ensors Chartered Accountants.
The creditors unanimously accepted the proposals at a meeting held on Friday, January 9, that allows LEC Marine (Lowestoft) Ltd to move out of administration and back under the control of its directors.
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Mark Sawyer, managing director of LEC Marine, said: "I would like to pass on a big thank-you to the creditors for voting for the administrative proposals and the customers and staff for their on-going support.
"I have always believed that LEC Marine can be a success and now have the chance to prove it."
Mr Sawyer said he was grateful for the support given to the company in recent months.
"The support we have received from customers and staff over the last three months has been overwhelming.
"We have new contracts worth £2 million and through the successful trading of LEC Marine aim to pay creditors a sizeable amount over the next five years," said Mr Sawyer.
New contracts awarded to LEC Marine include new electrical installation work aboard the paddle steamer Tattershall Castle for George Prior Engineering Ltd, the supply of electrical designs and equipment for a catamaran car ferry for FBM Babcock Ltd, and various electrical refit works for A&P Falmouth Ltd.
Steven Law, partner at Ensors Chartered Accountants, said: "The future of LEC Marine was in the creditors' hands, and by voting for the administrative proposals, they have endorsed the directors' belief that the company has a good future."
The administration only affected LEC Marine (Lowestoft) Limited. Other companies in the LEC group were not affected.
LEC Marine (Lowestoft) has a total workforce of about 200 with its head office in Whapload Road, Lowestoft, and other operations in Great Yarmouth, Felixstowe, Southampton and Plymouth.
Of the 45 redundancies made following the administration 25 were in the West Country with the remainder spread between the three east coast locations.
The collapse of Appledore shipbuilders was blamed on a lack of new orders and led to the loss of more than 500 job losses directly.