King’s Lynn-based coach holiday company calls in administrators
Harrison Holidays closes after more than 50 years serving Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire
One of the region's best known coach holiday firms called in administrators yesterday when the business ran out of cash, leaving 20 people to lose their jobs.
Harrison Holidays, based in King's Lynn, served Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire for more than 50 years but Norwich-based administrators Parker Andrews have now been appointed to try and sell the business. Some 220 holiday-makers and day-trippers from across the area, who have paid �250,000 up-front to the company, now face an anxious wait to see if their plans are honoured or their cash returned.
Three people currently in Jersey will finish their holiday as planned and be returned home as the administrators make arrangements on their behalf.
'We have been appointed administrators at the director's request because of cash flow issues,' said Jamie Playford, director and insolvency practitioner at Parker Andrews.
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He said it was too early to say exactly why the company had needed to call in administrators, but said there was no cash in the kitty and the 20 or so members of staff had been laid off immediately. He will begin marketing the company for sale today and hopes it can be sold as a going concern which would help to secure the trips already paid for by customers.
Anyone who used a credit card should be covered by their provider to recover their money, but for other customers it may be more complicated.
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Harrison was a member of a professional bonding company, BCH, which will cover all coach holidays throughout November if customers paid before October 31.
The Lynn company was also an agent for other companies offering holidays outside the UK and the flights and accommodation should be covered by ATOL which should either honour the holiday or offer a refund. The coach transfers would have been provided by Harrison and the cost of these should be covered by the BCH, but will have to be re-organised separately.
Day-trippers booked for December and beyond are likely to lose out though as these are not covered by the BCH and Mr Playford said there was no dividend to creditors –meaning the company has no money.
The next day trip, this Friday to Derbyshire, is being honoured by BCH as are those throughout the remainder of this month. There are currently no customers on coach holidays in other parts of the country or abroad.
Mr Playford said if the company can be sold then all the deposits for future trips already paid would be honoured by BCH – so customers would not have to pay twice.
But if no buyer comes forward in the very near future then deposits for day trips could be lost unless covered by a credit or debit card provider.
For customers due to take a trip in the next 30 days a helpline has been set up on 08450 036832 which is open during office hours.
More information will be posted on the company website (See link on this page) and customers can also email via email@example.com
No-one at Harrison Holidays was available for comment yesterday evening.