Jobs woe for Dereham car firm

Efforts are under way to find a buyer for a Dereham sports car manufacturer which has gone into administration with the loss of 16 jobs.

Breckland Technology was founded in 2000 and specialised in manufacturing hand-built, low volume niche sports cars.

But it got into financial difficulties after its overseas backers, Hong Kong-based multinational Riche Holdings, were unable to increase their £850,000 investment in the company because of global pressures.

Breckland Technology, based in a 10,500 sq ft factory on the Rash's Green Industrial Estate in Dereham, was set to begin sales of its new supercar, the two-seater V8 soft-top Beira, last November.

But following its launch at the Motorexpo exhibition in London in June last year work on the Beira was delayed and only three were built before the company ran out of money.

One order for the 400bhp Beira, which had a six-litre engine and a top speed limited to 155mph, was secured but the company was unable to supply that order before production was halted.

The car, which was expected to go on sale for about £55,000, was also designed to be less environmentally damaging than other sports cars and was designed to run on liquefied petroleum gas or petrol and was capable of a range of 700 miles between refuelling stops.

Speaking ahead of the 2008 exhibition, director Mike Rawlings said the model had already received “tremendous interest and orders”.

But the lack of further investment led to cash flow problems, and bosses had to call in Norwich-based administrators McTear Williams & Wood. All 16 jobs were lost.

David Wood, partner at the business rescue and insolvency practice, said he was confident that Breckland Technology could be sold on quickly and added that it was possible some staff would be employed by any buyer.

He said: “We already have significant interest from potential buyers and are hopeful of concluding an early sale of Breckland Technology and its assets.

“Unfortunately, all 16 employees, including the company's directors, have been made redundant, but we are optimistic that a sale could result in re-employment for at least some of these former employees.”

In 2007, director Mike Rawlings said the company, also behind the Mosler, Garaiya and Tommy Kaira ZZ models, was looking to transfer some of its operations to Eastern Europe to avoid high UK taxes, but the move did not take place.

At the time the company was producing about 40 cars a year.

Dereham Times

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