25/08/2009

Lighthouse Trust Goes Into Administration

Administrators have been appointed to the Lighthouse Trust.

At the request of the charity's directors, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Scotland has appointed two of its personnel to run the troubled business.

A charitable organisation, The Lighthouse Trust employs 57 staff (full and part time) and reported a turnover of £3.5m in the last financial year.

The Lighthouse Trust performs a role in the delivery of the Scottish government's Architecture Policy and Creative Industries strategies at national and local level and a developing role in designing advocacy at all levels.

It has traditionally derived its funding from the public sector for specific projects as well as £100,000 core funding from GCC for exhibitions and educational programmes.

It also generates commercial revenue through a number of activities such as the lease of office and restaurant/bar space, conference and commercial events, and retail activities.

Due to a marked reduction in demand for some of these commercial activities, the Lighthouse Trust experienced some financial difficulties and will as a result, record a net deficit for the financial year 2008/09.

The Board subsequently carried out a substantial review to reduce its overhead base, however, reached the conclusion that due to a funding gap it would be unable to implement it.

Bruce Cartwright, Head of Business Recovery Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Scotland, said: "I understand that the Board was in the course of taking steps to address a funding short fall but it became apparent that while the revised business plan addressed many of the issues it could not address the funding deficit derived from losses incurred in the previous twelve months."

Mr Cartwright stated the immediate priority is to investigate all possible options with an open mind to determine if a sustainable economic structure can be delivered that will enable the Lighthouse Trust to continue its existing role and fulfil any immediate commitments.

Eleanor McAllister, who has been Chair of the Board of The Lighthouse Trust for the last 18 months, said: "It has been a heartbreaking decision for me and the Board to bring in Administrators to the Lighthouse Trust.

"We know the devastating effect this will have on our staff and on the partners working with us on our projects. We have done everything possible to avoid this, but the options before us were very limited in the current economic downturn."

Whilst they assess the position, the building will remain open for business.

(GK/BMCC)

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