MORE than 120 staff at coach company Fraser Eagle have been made redundant today after administrators took control of the ailing company.

Accountants Baker Tilly said that it hoped to split up the Padiham-based firm and then sell the different parts off but after meetings yesterday the decision was taken to lay off the majority of the staff.

Just a handful of workers have kept their jobs for the coming days and the business has ceased trading.

Accountants Baker Tilly took control of the firm yesterday and initially vowed to work to safeguard as many of the 120 jobs at the company as possible.

But after a series of meetings, one of the administrators Lindsey Cooper said: “It is regrettable that the majority of employees have had to be made redundant.

“There’s been initial interest in some parts of the business and we’re hopeful that a sale will be achieved.”

The staff that have been made redundant include office workers and drivers.

The administrators are now looking to sell the firm’s forward order book, its coaches and property in a bid to raise cash for creditors.

The announcement by the company, which is based at Shuttleworth Mead Business Park, Padiham, came after several years of expansion from the company.

Last year Fraser Eagle announced a £789,774 profit on a £30.3m turnover.

The firm began in 1919 as Fraser Motors in Accrington — taking people on coach trips to Blackpool.

At the time of going out of business, the firm had sponsorship deals with Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers.

The firm sponsors Stanley’s Fraser Eagle Stadium and the former Walker Steel stand at Ewood Park.

Coun Martin Smith, who has the economic development portfolio on Burnley Council said the news was a “real blow”.

He said: “Fraser Eagle is a big employer and this is very bad news for the workers, their families and all those others who relied on the company for business.

“We will be working with the local Job Centre Plus to try to help those affected as much as we can.”

Fraser Eagle operates in transport, travel and logistics.

Just three weeks ago the company announced it had laid off 50 staff but the move was not enough to stave off administration.

The subsidiaries of Fraser Eagle affected by the administration are Fraser Eagle Ltd, Fraser Eagle Property Holding Company Ltd and Fraser Eagle London.

Mrs Cooper added: “The firm has been operating in a very difficult trading environment resulting in the loss of a number of key contracts.

"The business, for example, provides rail replacement services for a number of train operating companies.

"In recent times much of this has work has been taken in-house.”

Staff leaving the Fraser Eagle headquarters this afternoon declined to comment.