Jobs lost as Burnley businesses fail

A pair of household business names has gone into administration in quick succession, costing the town of Burnley more than 100 jobs.

Ironsmith B Rourke & Co, home to an iconic dinosaur sculpture at the entrance of its Accrington Road site, is winding down after struggling to remain afloat in what it described as “difficult trading conditions”.

The company had employed 37, more than half of which have already been made redundant with 18 remaining employees facing redundancy as the company closes over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile Samuel Cooke and Co, which traces its roots in the area back to 1845, has gone into administration amidst a police investigation. Sister firm Company Fuel Cards has also been affected.

The combined workforce of 98 has been reduced to just 12. Some of the 86 made redundant had not been paid in the last month.

KPMG, installed as administrators, released the following statement: “The business suffered an unexpected loss in relation to a specific group of customers that impaired asset value and, as a result, placed the business under a significant cash strain. The directors reported this position to the police and it remains under investigation.”

Cooke Fuels has sold and distributed fuel and lubricants to commercial and residential customers from Wyre Street since 1976. The Cooke family sold its remaining stake in the business in 1991 although Stephen Cooke, whose grandfather and father have both run the business over the last 100 years, has expressed an interest in rescuing the company.

In more positive news, a branch of Poundworld will open its doors in Burnley on Thursday morning, creating 30 new jobs in the town.