Bosses of Lancashire housing charity 'devastated' at its collapse

The Fox Street Community in Preston is run by Methodist Action North West
The Fox Street Community in Preston is run by Methodist Action North West

Bosses of a collapsed housing charity have admitted they are “devastated” to see it fold.

Methodist Action (North West) went into voluntary liquidation this week citing serious cash flow problems.

Crisis talks have been going on since Monday in an attempt to lessen the impact for more than 150 tenants and up to 50 landlords.

“We are continuing to work with our stakeholders, partners and all those who are affected to seek to minimise the difficulty they are facing,” said Ken Wales (inset), co-chair of the board of trustees.

“We are making good progress and we will continue to work flat-out.

“There have been issues that we have been dealing with for a considerable time. Quite simply it’s a cash flow situation. It has been costing us more to run the organisation over a number of years than the income we have been getting.”

Figures issued by the Charity Commission show MANW lost almost £400,000 in 2015/16 and a further £267,000 in 2016/17. Accounts for the past year are seven weeks overdue.

The charity has been working in partnership with Preston, South Ribble and Lancaster Councils to provide affordable housing for the homeless. It also runs the Fox Street Community in Preston.

Mr Wales said: “It was with very real regret that we decided we had to go into voluntary liquidation. It was the last thing we wanted to do.

“This charity is run by five or six people who, like myself, don’t get a penny. We are all volunteers and we are doing our damndest to sort this out.

"I have been here all week working on it. In 15 years with Methodist Action I have never drawn a penny. Like everyone else here I am devastated by what’s happened.”

Landlords who lease their properties to the charity have asked Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick to intervene.