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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Jobs fears as Carlisle Christian book firm goes into administration

Workers at a Christian book distribution firm in Carlisle face an uncertain future after the business was put into administration.

Christian book seller photo
Send the Light's premises

Dozens of staff at Kingstown based Trust Media Distribution (TMD) – formerly Send the Light – have been told turnover had fallen to “unsustainable levels”.

Administrators from the Scott Moncrieff business accountancy firm in Glasgow confirmed that its staff were on site and examining the firm’s options.

“The business is still ongoing at the moment,” said one of the administration staff in Carlisle yesterday.

Operating from a huge warehouse at Kingstown, (TMD) has been a major supplier of Christian books, bibles, music, and DVDs within the UK.

In 2012, around 70 people were employed at TMD but that fell to thirty or so. Around 20 people are likely to lose their jobs.

In a statement, the administrator said that the decision to go into administration had been a difficult one.

A TMD spokeswoman said the move was linked to changes introduced by a business partners which had decided to bring distribution and wholesale elements of its business “in house” in the UK.

The statement added: “This structural change was compounded by continued contraction in the trade as a whole leaving an organisation with the scale, infrastructure and cost base of TMD with no other option but to look at alternative business models.

“Whilst the development of our card and gift and distribution functions was encouraging it could not (in the time required) replace the rapidly declining wholesale revenue streams and we therefore began exploring alternative restructuring options at the close of 2013.

“The board has invested considerable personal resource in the business over the past two years.

“We would, however, express our gratitude to loyal and dedicated staff who have, with us, striven to make the business work in a very challenging environment.”

Pamela Coyne and Stewart MacDonald, from Scott-Moncrieff, have been appointed as administrators.

Mr MacDonald said: “We will continue the work that has already been undertaken by TMD directors to explore the possibility of future trading options for the business and infrastructure.

“In the meantime, the business will continue to operate in a reduced capacity to facilitate the distribution of certain product lines.”

Two years ago, bosses at TMD began consultations with staff over possible redundancies.

The cuts were considered essential to protect the company’s long-term future.

At the time, Paul Davies, a member of the company’s senior management team, paid tribute to the staff but said TMD would move into secular markets in an effort to survive.

He said: “It’s a difficult time for everyone; this is a very close-knit business with a lot of long-serving staff.

“But it’s an unfortunate necessity; changes have to be made to ensure the business remains in Carlisle, securing a substantial number of jobs in the process”

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