Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Ferry workers facing redundancy

SpeedFerries went into administration earlier this month

More than 100 workers face redundancy at SpeedFerries after no buyer came forward for the ferry operator.

The firm, which ran the vessel SpeedOne between Dover and Boulogne, went into administration earlier this month.

Administrators from Ernst & Young said they had tried to save the business but found no buyers.

Gwyn Prosser, the Labour MP for Dover and Deal, said a government rapid deployment team would be in Dover on Wednesday to help workers.

A statement from Ernst & Young said: "The majority of employees were today made redundant and the joint administrators will now look to wind down the business accordingly.

"Workshops have been set up to assist employees on claiming their statutory redundancy entitlements."

'Work or training'

One of the joint administrators, Angela Swarbrick, said: "It is unfortunate that, despite negotiations with interested parties, it has not been possible to conclude a sale.

"Regretfully, we are no longer able to continue trading the business."

Mr Prosser said: "For the past two weeks, we've been keeping our fingers crossed, hoping that a buyer would come along and buy the company lock, stock and barrel.

"That's failed today and sadly we are facing these redundancies."

He said he had contacted the government's rapid deployment force and the team would hold talks with SpeedFerries management and workers on Wednesday.

Mr Prosser said the unit would be "trying to get them as soon as possible back into work or back into retraining, or finding some way of keeping them off the dole".

SpeedFerries was set up in 2004 as a low-cost operator.

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