Henderson in administration

RY Henderson & Sons, the family owned Scottish abattoir and meat processing firm, has gone into administration.

The news comes just over four months after the company launched its £4m state-of-the-art plant in Linlithgow in a fanfare of publicity, with Princess Anne opening the facility.

The business has laid off 54 of its 72 staff, and Tom Burton and Colin Dempster from Ernst & Young have been appointed joint administrators.

According to a statement from Ernst & Young: "Tough trading conditions have resulted in the directors of the family business deciding that the company could no longer continue to trade."

A buyer is now being sought, and the administrator said it had already had enquiries.

Burton said: "We are currently reviewing the financial position of the firm and are looking for a buyer for the assets as a going concern. We have already been approached by a number of interested parties and will continue operations on a limited basis whilst we continue discussions and identify potential new buyers."

The compay's new plant was only opened in September. Permission to relocate Henderson's operations from the Braefield Road site to a green-field one at Myreside Farm, near Whitecross was initially refused but an appeal to the Scottish Executive resulted in Henderson's getting the go-ahead in November 2003.

This allowed the family firm to sell the Braehead site where it had been based since 1973 to property developer Alloa-based MCA Homes.

The family firm received funding to the tune of £500,000 from the Scottish Executive with additional grant assistance of £120,000 for the plant. Scottish agriculture minister Ross Finnie said at the time: "This is terrific times. I'm sure it will bring benefits to other parts of Scotland."

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