KEELHAM Farm Shop in Skipton is to close permanently and all its employees made redundant.

Joint administrators, who told staff yesterday (Thursday) said despite initial interest from potential buyers, it had not been successful, and the business was being wound down and the site closed.

The farm shop, on Gargrave Road next to the A65/A59 roundabout, closed unexpectedly just after Christmas with its around 100 members of staff only finding out in the morning of the closure.

Jonny Marston, managing director of administrators Alvarez and Marsal’s Restructuring team in Leeds, said: “Following the appointment of joint administrators from Alvarez & Marsal to Keelham Farm Shop Ltd on January 5, the joint administrators have been exploring options for the sale of the business as a going concern. While interest was received, this was not capable of being delivered within the relevant time scales.

"Regrettably, the business is now being wound down. All employees have been made redundant, effective from January 18. The joint administrators are continuing to work with the employees to assist them with claiming their entitlements and obtaining other employment. Any parties interested in taking on any of the employees are invited to contact the joint administrators.

"The joint administrators are continuing to look to realise the assets of the company, including freehold property, stock, and plant machinery. Any interested parties should contact the joint administrators.”

One former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Craven Herald: "We, the staff of Keelham Farm Shop, were told by the administrators that despite their best efforts, no buyer would be taking the business on as a going concern, and therefore as of today, we were all being made redundant, with immediate effect.

"The administrators will continue to look to sell the business, but we are no longer guaranteed a job if such a sales does indeed go through. Lots of very unhappy ex-Keelham employees. We have been advised by the administrators that we will all be contacted to assist us in claiming any monies owed."

Another said: "After being told to wait since we got laid off on December 28 for any updates on a potential takeover, and many conference calls with the administrators, we have been told a buy-out has fallen through and two buyers have pulled out.

"Having been told this news, me and many other co-workers are now without any wages, which will now run well into its third week. Having being kept on a shoestring for so long without any income it is believed we cannot get any back pay for the last couple of weeks."