Jobs in jeopardy at crisis-hit city depot

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52 workers face New Year misery after firm’s collapse

Fifty-two jobs are set to be lost at City Link’s Preston depot after the dramatic collapse of the company.

Jobs: City Link's depot in Preston, which employs 52 people

Jobs: City Link's depot in Preston, which employs 52 people

The firm’s depot on the Roman Way industrial estate, Longridge Road, was open yesterday for customers to collect parcels.

But its future is unclear as administrators assess interest in buying whole or parts of the City Link operation.

The founder of City Link’s parent company has denied the firm’s collapse was mishandled and apologised to more than 2,000 workers who found out on Christmas Day that they would lose their jobs.

Jon Moulton said the directors of Better Capital, which owns the parcel delivery firm, were “very sorry” about its collapse and the “horrible effects” for its workforce.

The veteran venture capitalist claimed that taxpayers would not foot a major bill for redundancy payments for the firm’s staff – as City Link had “paid a fortune” in taxes since Better Capital took it over in April 2013.

More than 2,000 City Link staff are facing redundancy on New Year’s Eve and company administrators Ernst and Young (EY) have been unable to reach a deal with furious union bosses desperate to save the jobs.

The RMT union has urged Business Secretary Vince Cable to rescue the company but Mr Moulton said the minister’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department was aware of City Link’s collapse before Christmas and did not request a meeting.

The RMT has accused City Link’s bosses of a “horrific catalogue of mismanagement” but Mr Moulton denied the company’s collapse had been botched.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether it had been mishandled, Mr Moulton said: “Not particularly, no.

“First of all I must say on behalf of Better Capital and its board of directors that we are very sorry about the failure of City Link and we’re very sorry about the horrible effects that follow for the workforce and contractors. I’m afraid that is the result of the company failing, nothing more and nothing less, the company was not viable.”

A spokesman for administrators EY said today there would be “substantial redundancies” amongst the 2,727 employees.