One of Hartlepool's biggest employers Utility Alliance set to go into administration with loss of over 300 jobs
One of Hartlepool’s biggest employers has today announced it is going into administration with the loss of almost 250 jobs in the town.
Staff at energy consultancy Utility Alliance based on Hartlepool marina were informed of the bad news on Thursday morning (January 28).
Directors for the company, which had a turnover of £21million, blamed the impact of the pandemic and said they did everything they could to find new investment.
A total of 240 staff at Utility Alliance’s Hartlepool headquarters have been made redundant plus 72 more at its offices in Newcastle and Sheffield.
Managing director Bob Moore told the Mail: “The company has been struggling since the pandemic. We reached out to a number of investors to try to help us through this and went through all the Government-backed schemes but unfortunately we have not been able to survive this onslaught of the pandemic.
"We have been going through investment opportunities for the last few weeks but unfortunately we simply cannot trade any more and have had to let staff know today that all jobs will be lost.”
It is understood administrators will be called in from Monday, February 1.
Mr Moore said staff, most of whom have been on furlough, will be paid on Friday, January 29.
The business provided customers with cheaper utility costs. But with so much of their business base such as retail, leisure and hospitality being closed for so long, Utility Alliance experienced cashflow problems.
It is understood staff were paid ten days later than they had been promised in December and were placed on furlough in the New Year.
Utility Alliance’s collapse comes as it was about to mark its sixth anniversary.
It grew from just six staff at Hartlepool’s Queen’s Meadow business park in February 2015 to at one point employing over 500 people across three sites with field sales workers all over the country.
The company moved into the former Garlands call centre on Hartlepool marina in January 2017 and continued to grow rapidly.
It appeared to have survived the worst of the pandemic when staff who had worked from home returned to the office last July with various safety measures put in place.
Mr Moore added: “I feel like we have been building a sandcastle for the last six years and the pandemic has come and kicked it over.
"We’re absolutely gutted, devastated. I’m really, really sorry for the staff who are out of a job at this time and really hope they can find alternative employment.”
Up to the point of the firm’s collapse around 30 staff worked in its Newcastle office and 40 in Sheffield.
In 2019 and last year, Utility Alliance was named as one of the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Companies to Work for in the UK.
Over the last six years the company has supported numerous charities, including being a patron of Alice House Hospice, as well as entering into partnerships with football clubs including Hartlepool United and Burnley FC.
Utility Alliance has also been a key sponsor of Hartlepool champion boxer Savannah Marshall.