THE husband and wife team behind a Padiham engineering business which went into liquidation with debts of more than £130,000 have agreed to be banned from acting as company directors for five years.

Michael and Diane Bailey, of Brunshaw Road, Burnley, were directors of Bailey Plant Engineering Ltd, which operated from Winchester Works, in Grove Lane, Padiham, since 1993.

The Government's Insolvency Service has revealed that the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has accepted the couple's undertaking not to act as company directors of any business for five years.

Bailey Plant Engineering went into liquidation in March 2000 with debts estimated at £134,736 owed to trade creditors and the Crown.

The Insolvency Service said Mr and Mrs Bailey had not disputed accusations of unfit conduct levelled against them. These included:

They paid £12,000 to Mr Bailey's brother, Harold Bailey, at a time they were not paying creditors.

They knew, or ought to have known, that the company was insolvent and unable to pay its debts by June 1999.

They allowed the company to trade at the risk of creditors until March 2000 so that debts increased by £60,296.

They allowed Michael Bailey's overdrawn directors' loan account to increase by £49,000 between April 1998 and March 2000.

The five-year disqualification undertaking prevents Mr and Mrs Bailey from being company directors of any business or being involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

If they break the undertaking, they could face up to two years in prison or face a fine or both.