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Cable sorry for Burnley firm's collapse
11:01am Monday 6th August 2012 in Business
BUSINESS secretary Vince Cable has expressed his sorrow at the demise of a long-established Burnley iron works.
During a whistle-stop visit to East Lancashire, he said he was ‘very sad’ to hear that Brian Rourke & Co, which was founded more than 50 years ago, had gone into administration.
He said: “I’ve visited them and I’m very sad to hear that.
“They were doing wonderful work and they were exporting a lot of that stuff as well.
“The kids who were working there were learning very good skills.”
Around 37 jobs have been lost at the firm, based in Accrington Road, near Rosegrove station, as administrators BDO LLP brought the company to a close.
They said that attempts to find a buyer had proved fruitless.
B. Rourke & Co was founded in 1961 in a hen hut in Brian’s sister’s farm in Deerplay Moor near Bacup.
It moved to a forge in Blakey Street before settling in its current location in 1996.
Patrick Lannagan, business restructuring partner at BDO, said: “Unfortunately the current economic climate and difficult trading conditions significantly affected the business.
“The joint administrators are taking all necessary steps to mitigate losses to all stake-holders and, going forward, will seek to maximise recoveries for the benefit of all creditors.”
Mr Cable visited Rourke’s last April amid a storm over his immigration clash with David Cameron. He praised the ‘brilliant’ business and insisted the East Lancashire economy could pave the way for economic recovery.
The cabinet minister said: “The figures I’ve seen suggest East Lancashire got about twice as much manufacturing in the economy as in the rest of Britain.
“The manufacturing sector should be doing relatively well because most of it is exported. There’s rapid growth certainly in non EU markets.
“I’m sad to hear about the Rourke iron factory, but in general those companies are doing relatively well, unless you are in construction which is a disaster area and we’re going to do something about that.”
Rourke’s gates can be seen at Disneyland, Downing Street, Phil Neville’s former house in Crawshawbooth, the Haworth Art Gallery and at Liverpool FC in honour of former manager Bob Paisley.