FORMER members of staff at Skipton’s Keelham Farm Shop which closed unexpectedly just after Christmas have said how they are grateful for the support of the public and even offers of alternative employment.

Several former employees of the farm shop, which closed on December 28, met with Skipton town councillor Brian McDaid, who is also assistant general secretary of Aegis the Union, in Skipton Town Hall on Friday last week.

Cllr McDaid said: “I met with some of the staff to listen to how the closure and subsequent redundancies have affected them all. I was also able to provide them with legal advice on their rights to ensure they receive the support and financial compensation they deserve. I have supported many people over the years facing redundancy and one of the key priorities in the role of a union, is to ensure the decision makers follow the correct process.”

“Loyal and hard working staff now face difficult times financially and emotionally during a cost-of-living crisis.”

He added: “There is (however) a lot of support out there for the staff and a huge thanks to Rebecca Rice from the local Job Centre, who has gone beyond her role to help. Also thanks to my union’s employment lawyers, Morrish Solicitors who have offered free advice.

“The staff are also thankful to the local community for their support and offers of alternative employment too. We will continue our support to ensure all the staff receive what they deserve during this difficult time.”

Joint administrators from Alvarez and Marsal were appointed on January 5 to explore options for the selling of the business, but despite initial interest, no buyer came forward and Keelham Farm Shop is now being wound down.

Jonny Marston, managing director in Alvarez and Marsal’s restructuring team in Leeds, said following the decision to wind up the business. “ The joint administrators are continuing to work with the employees to assist them with claiming their entitlements and obtaining other employment.” Mr Marston has also invited any potential buyer to get in touch with the joint administrators.

The former joint owners, have said it was with ‘real regret’ that they had closed the store and that they had done all they could to turn it around.