Ad­min­is­tra­tors called in at race car maker

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Cameras In Your Community - By ADAM UREN adam.uren@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @ETADAMU

AN ICONIC rac­ing car maker has ap­plied for ad­min­is­tra­tion, mean­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture for more than 170 staff.

Hunt­ing­don-based rac­ing firm Lola has an­nounced its in­ten­tion to ap­ply for ad­min­is­tra­tion, blam­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s decision not to pay on­go­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment tax cred­its for the decision.

The Lola Group, which has two sites off St Peter’s Road, is fa­mous for mak­ing sports cars for track events, such as the world-renowned Le Mans 24-hour race, through Lola Cars In­ter­na­tional Ltd, which was formed in 1958.

More re­cently, it in­vested heav­ily in tech­nol­ogy and di­ver­si­fied its busi­ness, cre­at­ing Lola Com­pos­ites Ltd, which of­fers re­search ser­vices for the de­fence, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, aero­space, re­new­able en­ergy and mo­tor­sports mar­kets.

In a state­ment is­sued by the firm yes­ter­day, Lola said that re­cent changes to the tax cred­its sys­tem has re­sulted in a cash­flow cri­sis.

It said: “The lat­est eco­nomic down­turn and the decision of HMRC not to pay on­go­ing R&D tax cred­its has caused a se­ri­ous cash­flow prob­lem for the busi­nesses.

“It is with enor­mous re­gret that a decision has been taken to is­sue No­tices of in­ten­tion to ap­point an Ad­min­is­tra­tor to Lola Cars In­ter­na­tional Limited and Lola Com­pos­ites Limited.

“This step al­lows the board to con­tinue its dis­cus­sions with pos­si­ble in­vestors and prospec­tive pur­chasers with a view to se­cur­ing the best out­come for the staff, cred­i­tors and cus­tomers of both busi­nesses.”

Lola Cars cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary in 2008 af­ter it was es­tab- lished in 1958 by Eric Broadley MBE. It has an il­lus­tri­ous his­tory, de­sign­ing cars that com­peted in For­mula One, the Indy 500 and Le Mans.

The com­pany first en­tered ad­min­is­tra­tion in 1997 fol­low­ing an ill-fated re­turn to For­mula One, be­fore it was saved in a takeover by Martin Bir­rane.

Hunt­ing­don MP Jonathan Djano­gly has asked for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and has of­fered to pro­vide help to the staff as Lola goes through the sales process.

He added: “Lola is a long stand­ing and im­por­tant part of the Hunt­ing­don busi­ness com­mu­nity and is an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised brand.”

Leg­endary: Lola Cars in ac­tion.

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