ONE of Wellington's biggest employers has entered into administration.

Relyon is one of a handful of companies to have entered administration today (June 30) as part of the Blue Group Holdco Ltd.

Retailers Bensons for Beds and Harveys have also been impacted by the move, but one business has a better outcome than the other.

Following the appointment of the joint administrators, it was announced certain businesses and assets would be sold. The transaction largely relates to Bensons for Beds, but the purchasers will honour any open orders placed before June 30, including those relating to Harveys.

The Harveys furniture stores and manufacturing facilities not acquired by the purchases will continue to trade in administration while other options are explored.

The sale of Bensons for Beds has preserved 1,899 jobs.

Zelf Hussain, join administrator and PwC Deals partner, said: "The group had been facing increasingly challenging trading conditions in recent months, in particular the Harveys furniture business.

"This has resulted in cash flow pressures, exacerbated by the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and customer sales.

"It has not been possible to secure future investment to continue to trade the group in its current form.

"Following our appointment, we immediately completed a sales process for certain business and assets of the group.

"This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing in its restructured form as Bensons for Beds only model, while preserving 1,899 jobs. The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business.

"The Harveys furniture related retail and manufacturing businesses will continue to trade in administration, while all options are explored. 1,330 employees have been retained to support this trading period.

"it was regrettably necessary to make 240 employees redundant due to the economic position of the group.

"We will make every effort to help those affected at this difficult time."

Mark Jackson, CEO of Bensons for Beds Retail Ltd, said: “While this is a difficult day, saying goodbye to loyal colleagues across the group, the restructuring will allow Bensons for Beds to emerge as a leaner and fitter business, well positioned to rebuild in a new retail environment.

“Bensons has a bright future. Our vertically-integrated British manufacturing base sets us apart in the market and we now have the foundation that will allow us to ensure Bensons can prosper.”

Your County Gazette is awaiting further detail about how this will impact upon Wellington factory Relyon.

The news follows an announcement from KDC/One, which owns health and beauty factory Swallowfield, which stated jobs were at risk. 

Bosses stressed it wasn't because of coronavirus or Brexit, but instead part of a pre-planned reorganisation.

County, district, and town councillor, Andy Govier, said this was 'devastating' news for Wellington. 

"Relyon has been a major employer in the town for a very long time," he said. "The economic and social impact will be huge. It seems like the dedicated and hard-working staff are being put at risk through no fault of their own.

"I know that the town mayor, Janet Lloyd, had already arranged a meeting for local councillors with the district council planners prior to this announcement and this will be even more important given this sad news. I hope that working with others we can secure as many local jobs as possible and help to support any people who lose their position.

"This news, on the back of the risk of redundancies at Swallowfield, will cast a real shadow over the town. It is a really sad day for Wellington and Rockwell Green."