Posted: 16/06/2014

HEFF on the verge of closure

HEFF-Delivery-Van-WEBAfter 16 years in business, West Midlands food group Heart of England Fine Foods is on the brink of closure after deciding to go into voluntary liquidation.

In a statement, HEFF’s board of directors branded the Government “short sighted” after losing a large portion of its income from the public purse.

It also warned the liquidation of the business would place “100’s of jobs within small businesses put at risk” across the eight counties it served, in addition to the 15 staff being made redundant at the group itself.

The board cited the early termination of its six-year contract to manage the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre as one of the reasons for the business’s collapse. As a result, it relocated to Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology in March.

It added that funding for export projects, pledged by UK Trade & Investment in January, had failed to materialise while other areas of HEFF’s business experienced “slow trading” conditions.

The board said it had made “valiant efforts” to secure either public or private funding over the last few months.

In January, HEFF’s chief executive Karen Davies launched a revamped version of its distribution operation the Delivery Service, complete with its own vans (pictured).

“Whilst the company still has healthy reserves, it continues to trade at a loss and we do not genuinely expect that we will be able to trade out of our current financial difficulties in the short term,” said HEFF in the statement.

It added that it was “hopeful” that the business might still be saved before a shareholder meeting in the first week of July.

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