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Workers supported to find jobs after failure of yacht building firm

PUBLISHED: 08:16 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:16 22 February 2018

The Oyster Yachts premises at Hoveton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Oyster Yachts premises at Hoveton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The fall-out from the failure of Norfolk boat-builder Oyster Yachts has begun to spread to companies in its supply chain, say advisers who have been supporting workers affected.

North Norfolk District Council hosted a day for employees from the Hoveton yard to assess their options yesterday, with support from Broadland District Council, enterprise agency Nwes, arbitration service Acas and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Several staff from other businesses which could be hurt by the collapse of Oyster also attended the workshop at Hotel Wroxham, which organisers said had been “very positive”.

Oyster Marine Holdings, which owns the intellectual property and moulds for the Oyster yacht range, entered administration two weeks ago, after Oyster Yachts chief executive David Tydeman said the company had “run out of cash”.

The 180 staff at the Hoveton site were sent home on February 6 to prevent further losses with the business on the brink.

Steve Blatch, corporate director and head of paid service at North Norfolk District Council, said around 70 people had received advice with around a dozen of those from companies other than Oyster. He said: “It will have a knock-on impact in Norfolk and Suffolk business and will place some other workforces at risk as well, so we have been able to invite some workers from those businesses as well.”

Mr Blatch said there was still hope that a smaller business could be resurrected on the site, with workers believing there had been a full order book for the year.

He said: “We are hoping to hear from administrators to see if anything can be salvaged as a smaller business in Hoveton.

“There is demand and market interest but the workforce can’t wait for that to complete as they have financial commitments of their own.”

Representatives from poultry giant Bernard Matthews, Panks Auto Electrical and recruiter Cooper Lomaz were also on hand to tell attendees of vacancies.

Mr Blatch said there had been considerable support from the business community with several companies, including boat builders, joiners and engineering firms, contacting them to talk about taking skilled workers on.

Administrator KPMG said it had received “a high level of interest” in the holding company but had not set a deadline for final expressions of interest.

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