SCORES of jobs have been saved after a food firm swooped in to buy the struggling Tyneside pie maker Tindale and Stanton.
Administrators moved in last week to take over the firm for the third time in two years and immediately axed 25 jobs.
But yesterday they announced a sale to a new firm, RDT Foods UK Ltd, which saves the jobs of the rest of the staff.
Julie Swan, a licensed insolvency practitioner at PCR, said: “We are extremely pleased that we have secured a buyer for the business and in so doing have protected the jobs of the 59 staff that remained in the business following our appointment.”
Bosses of Burnopfield-based Star Cottage Bakery had only stepped in to take over 38-year-old Tindale and Stanton in June after it suffered cash-flow problems.
They had all been senior managers at the business for years and some had remortgaged their homes to pay for the debt-riddled company.
They had tried to take the business back to basics, selling its famed mince and onion pies, as well as keeping commercial contracts for its bread and cakes. But they ran out of working capital, and on New Year’s Eve administrators from PCR, which has offices in London and Newcastle, moved in to take over the business. They initially axed 25 of the 84 staff, but immediately started discussions with RDT UK which would keep the name alive.
The firm started by two Tyneside neighbours once sold £14m of products a year and had 300 staff, but had been on the slide for years and collapsed in November 2011 after its work supplying Netto stores was lost with the retail chain’s demise. It was then bought by Scarborough entrepreneur Arthur Harris who wanted to bring it together with his own Woodhead bakery and supply his Ugo chain of stores.
But his stores business collapsed and then so did the bakery firms.
The tough trading environment also claimed Durham-based Peter’s Cathedral Bakers, which collapsed in June last year before being bought by Scarborough’s Coopland & Son.
The business had 58 stores and a £12m turnover, but it too suffered cash flow problems because of the retail slump and rising prices.
Around 150 jobs were lost with the closure of 34 of the shops, but the factory in Durham and 22 shops were kept going, along with 208 jobs.
We are extremely pleased we have secured a buyer for the business and protected the jobs of the 59 staff