Jobs lost as Centurion loses fight for survival

May 26, 2011

A NORTH bus tour company has ceased trading with the loss of 14 jobs.

Centurion Tours and Travel of Haydon Bridge, has now closed after just over a week in administration.

The well-known firm, which ran bus tours throughout the UK and abroad, ran into trouble earlier this month when a finance company pulled out of an invoice agreement and placed Centurion in administration.

Newcastle accountants RMT entered into talks with two potential buyers in a bid to sell Centurion as a going concern.

But yesterday Linda Farish, RMT director of recovery and insolvency, said hopes of a rescue had been dashed.

She said: “There were two main customers, and both customers took their routes back.

“Centurion were then no longer in a position to operate them and they are no longer in business.

“Once the customers took back their routes, there was no trade and the majority of the assets were unfinanced hire purchase agreements.” It is believed existing bookings will be honoured by the companies who had taken over Centurion’s routes.

School runs to Haltwhistle and Allendale may also be kept open.

Brothers Graeme and Stuart Tilley, who set up Centurion 30 years ago, were unavailable for comment yesterday.

At the company premises in Haydon Bridge, the fleet of coaches had vanished and a padlocked gate blocked access to the yard.

Graeme Tilley last week said Centurion was still trading with over £1m worth of confirmed bookings in 2011.

He said to help fund the rapid growth of the last three years Centurion had entered into an invoice-financing agreement with a Sunderland-based firm.

“Without warning the finance company pulled out of the agreement and appointed RMT accountants as administrators of the business,” he said.

He declared the jobs of the 14 workers would be safe, but yesterday RMT said all Centurion staff were out of work as a result of the closure

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