A WELL-KNOWN businessman who was disqualified as a company director has been given the all-clear to resume control of his demolition firm.

Former Rossendale United FC chairman Andrew Connolly admitted he had been delivered a ‘massive blow’ when he was disqualified from being a director for five years in December 2012 after Accrington-based Connolly Demolition Ltd went into liquidation in 2010.

But after winning a county court appeal, the 50-year-old will be allowed to act as managing director of his reformed company, Andrew Connolly Demolition Ltd, which employs 25 staff.

Mr Connolly, from Burnley, said: “It's a huge relief to get reinstated as a company director.

“When the ban was put in place last December I’m not too proud to admit it was a massive blow.

“I’d built the company up from a standing start over a 30-year period but then due to one blip, which was largely out of our control, we got into difficulty.

“The last two years have been the toughest period of my life but I’m pleased to say that is now behind me and the business is heading in the right direction again. We’ve managed to retain all of our staff, we’ve got some decent contracts in the pipeline, and we are back on the front foot again.”

His original business ran into difficulties after the credit crunch and property crash of 2007/08 when at least one major contract fell through.

The appeal judge recognised that he had subsequently worked closely with the liquidator and had an ongoing plan to pay back all the company’s creditors.

He also recognised Mr Connolly’s longstanding position as an employer in the demolition industry and the need for him to be seen as a director in his business to help it to expand.

Solicitor Mark Deverell, of Stockport-based Gorvins, who acted on Mr Connolly’s behalf, said: “After falling foul of the property downturn but with a strong track record of 30 years in the industry, it was a pleasure to work with Andrew and present to the authorities the full circumstances of his successful demolition business and its place as an employer in the local area.”