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Jobs go as green charity is closed


An environmental charity which works with schools and other organisations to promote a greener lifestyle has closed with the loss of 26 jobs.

Staff at Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire were given the shock news on Friday afternoon.

Management refused to comment on the job losses but a spokeswoman for accountancy firm BDO, which is working with the charity, said it had ceased trading and was set to go into voluntary liquidation.

Groundwork is based in offices at Western Park, in Hinckley Road, Leicester, next door to the city council's EcoHouse, which it also manages and which is currently closed.

The city branch of Groundwork is part of a national network of trusts.

Since 1987, the Leicester charity – previously called Environ – has helped thousands of people, organisations and businesses improve their neighbourhoods, learn skills, improve their job prospects and create a greener county.

One of its key areas has been helping students and young people get into work. It also helps manage the Bikes4All and Allotments4All initiatives.

It has worked with various organisations including councils, schools and universities as well as local and regional businesses.

The BDO spokeswoman said: "Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire ceased to trade on May 3.

"BDO has been engaged to advise the organisation's board on placing the company into voluntary liquidation.

"This applies only to the local organisation in Leicester and Leicestershire.

"Regrettably, 26 employees have been made redundant, with a further five employees retained to assist with the wind-down of the organisation.

"Creditors are being advised of the circumstances and a meeting of the creditors is in the process of being arranged for later this month."

Accounts for the 2011-12 financial year showed the charity spent more than £875,000 on staffing.

Funding has come from the Department of Communities and Local Government, councils, the Big Lottery Fund and contracts with public and private organisations.

Leicester City Council deputy mayor Rory Palmer said he was aware of the charity's problems and hoped to salvage as much as possible from the work Groundwork had done.

He said: "It is clearly a loss. It grew out of Environ, which in many ways played a really important role in establishing Leicester's reputation as an environmental city.

"My view is that we will try to salvage some of the projects it has been working on in partnership with the council and we are in discussions along those lines.

"EcoHouse will come back to the city council.

"We are taking stock of the situation and will be able to say more next week as we assess the options.

"They obviously have a number of funding sources and the council is one. I know in recent months they were unsuccessful in securing one particular contract which we had put out to tender."

Jobs go as green charity is closed

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