Hartlepool employer Utility Alliance appoints administrators as 238 redundancies confirmed
One of Hartlepool’s major employers has formally appointed administrators with the confirmed loss of over 200 jobs.
Energy brokers Utility Alliance, based on the marina, announced two weeks ago it could no longer trade blaming the effects of the pandemic on its collapse.
On Friday, February 12, Martyn Pullin and David Willis, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed Joint Administrators of the business.
A total of 238 people have been made redundant and the business has ceased trading.
Established in 2015 with just six staff on the Queens Meadow business park in Hartlepool, Utility Alliance helped businesses to manage their utility bills through consultancy and specialist technology.
It enjoyed rapid growth, employing over 500 people at one point and opened offices in Sheffield and Newcastle.
But Covid-19 is said to have caused significant financial challenges as businesses used less energy.
The administrators also revealed that as well as trying to secure new investment, bosses tried to sell the business last year without success.
FRP say say they will now work with the staff affected to access all available support, and the business’s creditors.
Martyn Pullin, partner at FRP and Joint Administrator of Utility Alliance Ltd, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on businesses of all types and significantly reduced economic activity.
"The associated fall in energy use has put substantial pressure on the brokerage sector.
“Despite action taken by the directors to attract investment and market the business for sale over the course of 2020, Utility Alliance was unable to meet its financial obligations and became insolvent.
"We’re now focused on working with Utility Alliance’s employees to help them access the appropriate redundancy support and fulfil our statutory duties to creditors.”
The business moved into Tranquility House, on Harbour Walk, in January 2017 where it continued to grow.
During the first wave of the pandemic, staff worked from home before they began to return to the office several months later.
In December 2020, staff were placed on furlough which was extended to mid and then late January.
It is understood a number of staff left the business prior to the directors announcing on January 21 its intention to enter administration.