Groundwork charity gone under after 24 years

NILA 25-09-12 BE 6 43 cromford Road Langley Mill, Groundwork Derbyshire has gone into administration.
NILA 25-09-12 BE 6 43 cromford Road Langley Mill, Groundwork Derbyshire has gone into administration.

A charity in Langley Mill that has helped improve local communities for more than 24 years has gone into administration.

Government funding cuts has caused Groundwork Derbyshire to go under and 20 of the 33-strong workforce will be made redundant.

The other 13 staff at the site will work with adminstrators to keep some services going, and managing director Kirsty Young said she was trying to ‘salvage’ whatever she could.

Ms Young said: “We’ve been around for a long time, we’re well established in the area and it’s very sad.

“It has been unfortunate and very challenging for the staff involved but we are hoping that something will come out of it and we can continue one way or another to support the communities work with.

“We are trying to do our best to salvage whatever we can,” Ms Young said.

The director said because of Government funding cuts, the charity now gets paid at the end of each project instead of the beginning, leaving staff ‘struggling to cash flow’.

“A lot more projects are payment by results and we can’t cash flow the business,” she said,

“A few years ago we used to get paid up front. It makes it very difficult, because we don’t have the cash.

“Payment by results is one of the Government’s big things, but for charities it’s hard to manage,” she added.

Ms Young could not say for sure the services that would be most affected, but said they would try to keep doing ‘a little bit of everything’.

The long term-plan will be made clear over the next couple of weeks.

Groundwork’s national chief executive Sir Tony Hawkhead said “This is a responsible decision taken in light of the challenges being experienced by Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire in achieving financial viability.

“Groundwork, like all charities adjusting to public spending reductions and new contracting regimes, is continually reviewing its structures and operations to ensure it is in the best possible position to meet the increasing demand for its services.

“While recognising that this decision affects a number of highly talented and dedicated staff members, the Board of Trustees at Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire has acted decisively and responsibly to ensure that as many existing commitments as possible are protected and communities in Derby and Derbyshire will continue to get the support they need.”

Groundwork Derbyshire, in Cromford Road, has been around since 1988 and has a good long track record of supporting projects in the Amber Valley and Erewash areas.

Services that will definitely continue as they are include horticulture qualifications, construction courses and the managing of nature reserves.

Groundwork is a national not-for-profit organisation with 30 independent charities. They get funding from councils and various charitable trusts and organisations.