Jobs saved after buyer is found for Gateshead care home

Nearly 80 jobs have been saved after a buyer was found for Craigielea Nursing Home in Low Fell

Richard Warren, Bill Worth, Deborah Craig, Greg Bolton
Richard Warren, Bill Worth, Deborah Craig, Greg Bolton

Nearly 80 North East jobs have been saved after a buyer was found for a Gateshead care home.

Gateshead Dispensary Nursing Home (Craigielea) Limited, the charitable operator of the Craigielea Nursing Home in Low Fell, was placed into administration this month after falling occupancy levels in 2013 led to a decline in revenues, putting the future accommodation of its 54 residents at risk, as well as the jobs of 79 staff.

The corporate finance and recovery and insolvency teams at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Ltd were engaged to find a buyer for the home with a view to selling it as a going concern.

Interest was shown by a number of parties before a deal was agreed with North East care home operator Solehawk Ltd, which runs the Kenton Manor and Kenton Hall care homes in Newcastle.

Solehawk has retained the entire Craigielea workforce, who will join the 150 staff the business already employs at its two other properties.

The company is also working with the team to develop an action plan for enhancing future operations.

Originally dating back to 1832, Gateshead Dispensary Trust was set up to care for those in Gateshead before the creation of the NHS. It was established in its present form in 1982 to look after the needs of older people from the area.

Finance director at Solehawk Ltd, Richard Warren, said: “The quality of the buildings, facilities and gardens, its location within easy distance of our existing properties and the strong market for care services in this area made Craigielea an ideal addition to our portfolio of care homes, and we’re very pleased to have reached this agreement.

“We are extremely impressed with the passion of the Craigielea team for their work, including the standard of care they provide for the residents. We’re now working with them to ensure that collectively we further improve the services which focus on the needs of residents and their families.

“RMT and their advisors, Muckle LLP, worked with our solicitors, Mincoffs Solicitors LLP, and all have done a very thorough and professional job.

“We’re grateful for their contributions towards helping to make this deal happen.”

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