Deal secures future of North Pennines Archaeology

August 30, 2011

by Peter McCusker, The Journal

A SPECIALIST archaeology business has been saved after being bought out of administration by a Stoke-based engineering and environmental consultancy.

North Pennines Archaeology (NPA) – based at Nenthead in Alston, Cumbria – was placed into administration after the threat of a winding-up petition related to historic VAT debts.

Joint administrators Linda Farish and Anthony Josephs in the recovery team at Newcastle-based accountants and business advisors RMT have secured a sale of the assets to global multi-disciplinary consultancy Wardell Armstrong.

The deal has secured the future of the 18-strong workforce.

NPA was established in 1987 and offers archaeology services and topographical surveying alongside other geophysical services.

Stoke-based Wardell Armstrong, which has nine UK offices including one in Newcastle, has formed a new company called NP Archaeology, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Linda Farish, director of insolvency at RMT Accountants, said: “After being initially approached by the directors of the company, we are very pleased to have helped to achieve a satisfactory outcome for the business, its employees and customers.

“We worked very closely with the directors to make sure that the business was fully marketed and the offer which came from Wardell was progressed to completion.”

Dave Hodgkinson, Wardell Armstrong’s technical director of archaeology and heritage, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to join forces with NPA.

“It is highly respected in its specialised field with a considerable pool of experience, knowledge and skills, and we see an excellent fit between our two organisations.

“Building on our existing relationship, we’ll be able to provide clients with an all-encompassing, cost-effective and fully integrated archaeological and heritage service from the very outset of a project.”

Prior to its acquisition of NPA, Wardell had been working closely with the company for the past two years.

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