Giant Derbyshire haulage firm collapses with hundreds of jobs lost – Derbyshire Live

A Derbyshire-based warehousing and haulage company with contracts to supply food to Asda and Sainsbury’s has gone into administration, putting hundreds of people out of work.

EVCL Chill, in Alfreton, formerly known as NFT, has now been placed into administration as it has run out of money to pay its workers and its debts.

Some 650 of the firm’s 1,000 warehouse staff and drivers have been transferred to key customers but the remaining workers’ roles are in jeopardy.

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Insolvency practitioners from accountancy firm PwC will be managing its affairs and attempting to sell assets to pay off those owed money by the company.

Meetings with staff facing redundancy will take place on Monday, according to PwC which said driver shortages were partly to blame for the failure of the business.

Union Unite said: “EVCL Chill workers have lost their jobs without warning, through no fault of their own, and Unite will be assisting its members in every way possible in coping at this difficult time.

“Unite will be providing support to help the affected workers find new work”.

PwC said that driver shortages were partly to blame for EVCL Chill, formerly known as NFT distribution and owned by venture capitalist Emergevest, running out of money.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Unite national officer Matt Draper said : “The collapse of EVCL Chill at a time when there is huge demand for lorry drivers in particular, further calls into question the role and involvement of venture capitalists in UK industry.

“There is something fundamentally wrong in a system which allows the wealthy owners of a company to avoid paying for its collapse while the taxpayer has to pick up the pieces.”

As well as Alfreton, the company had operations in Daventry, Rochdale, Penrith and Crick.

PwC said all EVCL Chill operations including transportation have either successfully been transferred or have ceased.

In the period up to December 2020 turnover exceeded £167m but EVCL Chill said it has struggled with a loss of key customers and acute driver shortages this year, according to PwC.

Attempts were made to sell the business but there was limited interest and the company’s management decided to place it into administration.

Joint administrator Eddie Williams said: “This has been a very difficult situation. As businesses move from survival mode to recovery, the financial climate is still very volatile.

“I am pleased at least 658 roles will continue in a sector that is already facing many difficulties and challenges.

“We will continue to fully support all affected staff members during this difficult time.”

Helen Wheeler Jones, joint administrator, added they would liaise closely with customers to fulfil orders, alongside other priority stakeholders including HMRC.

The administration does not affect the wider EV Cargo Group which continues to trade as before, PwC said.

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