A LONG-running saga over the future of a Darwen manufacturer has seen 24 jobs saved.

Administrators had been called in for Speciality Coatings for the second time in just over a year, amid fresh trading difficulties.

Cashflow problems first prompted directors at the Dewhurst Street based firm, then operating as Speciality Coatings (Darwen) to seek assistance in March 2018.

Specialist business advisory firm FRP was able to broker a deal which saw the vinyl-base and plastisol manufacturer, which supplies the wallpaper industry, sold in a pre-packaged deal to private investment firm HLD.

The terms of the deal saw £250,000 handed over immediately for their stock, plant and equipment, and goodwill, with £350,000 to be paid over a nine-month period.

Under the arrangement then, it was said by joint administrator Anthony Collier, that 37 posts had been safeguarded.

But it has been confirmed that this safety net was only temporary, after Leonard Curtis Business Rescue and Recovery was appointed at the request of director Paul Phillips, at the start of this month.

In a statement, joint administrators Andrew Poxon and Julien Whiting said: "The business entered administration as a result of challenging trading conditions, which meant the company had suffered a build‐up of trade liabilities.

"Legal action was being threatened by a number of creditors and therefore appropriate steps were taken by the director to preserve the business.

"After a period of marketing, the administrators concluded a pre‐packaged sale of the company to an unconnected third party. This resulted in the transfer and safeguarding of all 24 employees to the new purchasing entity."

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The survival of Speciality Coatings has bucked an unwanted trend for Blackburn with Darwen industry in recent weeks.

In June Blackburn curtains and soft furnishings business Ryley and Hampson went bust, after 84 years.

And earlier this month Mercer and Sons, which could trace its history back to an 1840 ironmongers in Northgate, also called it quits.

Administrators FP, as part of the final reckoning for Speciality Coatings (Darwen) estimated that the former company went under owing £5.92million.

Trade creditors accounted for just over £5.5million of that, with £383,520 owed to the taxman, though this was offset by £619,083 of leftover assets.