Climb base firms 'won't get a penny'

Key points

• No buyer found three months on

• Creditors face losing thousands

• Bank is owed more than 12m

Key quote

"We have had to lay off more than half of our staff and, while the company will not go under, it will take at least two years to get back to where we were. We have had to cut the amount of work we can do by 60 per cent" - Robert Graham of Edinburgh Construction Company

Story in full FIRMS owed thousands of pounds for work on Scotland’s troubled National Climbing Centre at Ratho have been told they will not receive a single penny.

A buyer has still to be found for the centre, almost three months after it was placed in receivership.

Last week, a letter from receivers Deloitte was sent out to companies in advance of a creditors’ meeting stating the eventual sale of the centre was unlikely to provide a dividend payment, with any money likely to be swallowed up by preferential creditors such as the Bank of Scotland, which is owed more than 12 million.

Robert Graham, who runs Edinburgh Construction Company, now believes he will not see any of the 78,000 the firm is owed for work carried out on the construction of the centre’s bar and living quarters.

Eight of the company’s 15 full-time staff have been laid off since the centre went under.

Mr Graham’s brother, Frank, who founded the construction company six years ago, was taken to hospital just a few weeks after the centre was put in receivership. He subsequently died.

Edinburgh Construction Company is still more than 70,000 in the red, and while Mr Graham says the firm will survive, he believes the cost has been unacceptable. "We have had to lay off more than half of our staff and, while the company will not go under, it will take at least two years to get back to where we were. We have had to cut the amount of work we can do by 60 per cent."

Mr Graham said the company, based at Carron Place, had carried out extensive work on the bar area and living quarters, installing bunk-beds costing 1000 a time.

He added: "We carried out more work on the centre, nothing huge, just a few days before the centre went into administration."

He also said that several other sub-contractors had been left in a similar situation, with some owed as much as 250,000.

Charles Henshaw Ltd glaziers, of Russell Road, Edinburgh, is still owed more than 80,000 for work it carried out on the centre.

Tom Lamb, managing director of the company, said: "We are currently pursuing an insurance claim to cover our losses, but at best we will still lose upwards of 30,000.

"We worked on the glass walls and entrance screens to the centre, and we were asked to carry out more work just a few days before the centre was placed in administration."

Mr Lamb said his company also did not expect to see a penny of the money it was owed because it was not a preferential creditor.

No-one from Deloitte was available to comment on the plight of the creditors, though a spokesman confirmed they were still working closely with a preferred bidder and hoped to proceed the sale to a contract in the near future.