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Fenham Swimming Project (In Creditors Voluntary Liquidation)

This registered charity used to operate the Fenham Community Pool in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Testimonial from Lynn Richardson, Director.

The charity was formed in 2003 by local residents to this community asset in order to preserve it for community use as long as possible.

“With the help of volunteers, we were able to keep the pool going for many years until eventually, due to the state of the building and lack of funding support, there was no option but to close the pool. Due to the charity at that stage being in an insolvent position, we were advised that it would require formal liquidation.

Greg Whitehead was recommended to us and handled all the formal matters in connection with the winding down of the company, as well as some of the sensitive issues surrounding the closure of such a project, in a highly professional way.

Protek-CNC Limited (In Administration) (“Protek”)

CNC machining business based in Washington, Tyne & Wear. Testimonial from Colin Warren, the founder and former owner of the company.

In this matter we assisted the former owner’s in buying back of business and assets of his old company.

I formed Protek in 2004 as a CNC machining company, specialising in subcontract work and serving all sectors of manufacturing, producing components for many industries.

The Company traded for 10 years as a successful family business until I sold it in 2014 for a seven figure sum and I entered semi-retirement abroad. In early 2016 I learnt that the company was in trouble and its holding company entered Administration in May 2016. Protek kept on trading whist a share sale process was investigated by Administrator of the holding company.

I was interested in looking at buying the business back. My accountant thought it would be useful if I engaged an experienced Insolvency Practitioner in an advisory role and I was directed to Greg at Northpoint. With Greg by my side I took my interest further and in the end Protek itself was also placed in Administration. I was successful in buying the assets out of administration. I was subsequently able to get the operation up and running again and the business is flourishing.

Greg worked with me during the whole process and was an invaluable source of advice on how these things work in practice. He also led key areas of the negotiation with Protek’s Administrator. It proved very useful to have such an Insolvency Practitioner batting for me, particularly given his own experience of acting as an Administrator in such matters.

Scott & Coltherd Limited (In Administration)

Electrical Contractors based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Testimonial from Pauline Scott, Director

My late husband Ken started the business in 1974. It was owner managed and operated in the commercial sector. We operated successfully until the combined impact of a recession and the sudden loss of Ken in 2011 saw the business weakened.

We battled on and I took a greater role. However, in late 2013 the Company had been under cashflow pressure and I had to personally pay the wages of 25 people. A creditor also threatened a winding up petition.

Around this time, we were introduced to Greg Whitehead through our Accountants. He quickly understood the situation. Together we went through all the options and these were set out fully but in an easy manner that I could take in.

It was concluded that neither a business turnaround or sale was likely and if nothing was done a creditor winding up petition was likely. From Greg’s review it was also clear that if we tried to go on my own position through a personal guarantee to the Bank would have increased.

Greg was appointed Administrator and this allowed the business to be wound down in an orderly and controlled manner. I also know that all creditors have received some money back.

Greg provided his advice and services in a professional but approachable manner throughout all my dealings with him.

The Environmental Academy Limited (In Creditors Voluntary Liquidation)

Online and classroom environmental training provider - Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Testimonial from Rita Callender, Director

I incorporated the Academy as a centre of excellence for Environmental Training in 2006. The company developed online e-learning and classroom vocational training courses not available in the market place.

We had steady growth despite the crash in 2007/8 and serviced commercial clients but also turning to the public sector, fulfilling Government projects. Due to austerity measures Government departments reduced the contracts available and the Academy looked to EU projects to fill the gap which proved successful. A 3 year programme started in 2012 from 2015. The final claim was submitted but no monies were forthcoming and this position continued with no reasonable explanation provided. Our cashflow became critical and our Accountants suggested that we speak to Greg Whitehead. At this time we were told that no monies could be paid for the final claim for some time until additional audit was completed which was being done against all companies in our sector despite the usual audit already being signed off.

Greg and I went through the history of my business and the current position, in detail. Out of this exercise it was clear that options were limited and I also came to the view that with on-going austerity and the problems in dealing with public sector funding providers / projects that the public sector reliant business model we had used was no longer viable.

In the circumstances, I decided instruct Northpoint to proceed with a creditors voluntary liquidation, which seemed a daunting prospect. However, the process was managed by Greg and his colleagues with a user friendly approach that made the whole affair easier to handle.

Border Traffic Service Limited (In Administration)

Haulage and pallet distribution - Berwick upon Tweed and Cramlington
Testimonial from Brian Thompson, a Director

I started the business in 1979 as a haulier in the borders. The business grew to become a UK haulier from our owned premises in Berwick upon Tweed and a pallet distribution business in Cramlington.

We built the business to the point where it had 35 employees. Unfortunately, losses were made in 2013/2014. We also lost a valuable contract. By then I was in partial retirement with my son managing the business. I came back into the business full time but with cash flow problems and pressure from the factoring company, our accountant suggested that we meet Greg Whitehead of Northpoint. This followed meetings with two other similar firms.

All options were considered including a turnaround, a pre-pack sale with ourselves and a closure. It became apparent that the only prospect for a workable rescue of the core business was to explore a sale to external parties. We had spoken to a couple of parties and Greg Whitehead took up this process as part of an expedited sale process.

There was lots of pressure and issues to overcome to keep a distressed transport business going while a sale was progressed. However, between Greg, me and my son the business was kept alive and a going concern sale was negotiated of the Berwick haulage business and assets to an unconnected joint venture set up by two Scottish hauliers. I decided to fully retire but they did offer my son a job as Operations Manager which was pleasing.

The sale of the business took place immediately following the appointment of Greg Whitehead as Administrator. This was a good outcome and I know that creditors have received some money back.

Sustainable Enterprise Strategies - Community Interest Company (In Creditors Voluntary Liquidation)

Testimonial from Kevin Marquis

SES CIC was founded in 1983 to support local enterprise and recently owned and operated the “Coop Centre” in Sunderland. These were enterprise workshops made up of modified former containers and rented out to other social enterprises and small business where SES had been involved with their launch.

At its peak in 2010/11 SES employed 26 staff and was making a real social impact for the local community. However, in 2010 the change of government and the policy of austerity saw the closure of regeneration programs that provided funding to SES, and also, the abolition of Business Link.

We were referred to Greg Whitehead by our legal adviser who was also a Trustee of SES. For several months Greg worked with us as we tried to seek further funding and support from various national and local government departments. We managed to keep going in that “crisis management phase” but ultimately the business had to cease, and Liquidation was unavoidable.

In both the months before Liquidation, and once Greg implemented the Liquidation process, he was a great help during a very difficult time.