A CASH-STRAPPED town academy which provides real-life body and paint workshop training for young people has been forced to call in administrators.
The JohnsonVellen Centre of Excellence (JVCE) has appointed insolvency firm Poppleton & Appleby after being unable to cover the ongoing costs of the project.
JVCE Academy was set-up in 2012 to provide training to the next generation of young people looking to enter the vehicle fabrication and welding and body and paintwork industries.
It developed a bespoke training facility at Davies House, in Davies Road, which it leases from Wychavon District Council, and worked in partnership with South Worcestershire College to offer opportunities to apprentices and learners.
But after being unable to meet the costs needed to sustain the project and without funding to continue with ongoing development work at the site, JVCE Academy has been placed into administration.
Bosses hope to continue trading until the end of this month to allow learners to complete their training and give other tenants time to seek alternative venues.
Paul Johnson, managing director at JVCE, said: “We set-up as a not for profit business with the aim of providing high-quality training to combat the skills shortage I had experienced working in the industry.
“Unfortunately, we incurred a number of difficulties very early on including extensive vandalism damage to the building which meant we had unexpected costs of around £60,000.
“We also had to rethink our business model after South Worcestershire College was unable to occupy the remaining space at the property and also suffered funding difficulties which meant we were unable to offer fabrication and welding courses.
“I very quickly looked to secure tenants to help cover the shortfall and was very pleased to attract companies that were offering a similar synergy to the work being completed at the centre.
“Unfortunately, it has been a struggle to recoup the losses incurred by the vandalism damage and although we have received great support from the council we have been unable to find a solution.
“We sadly had to call in administrators in order to remain in operation over the next four weeks and we are hoping to come up with a solution or attract alternative investment in that time.”
Other tenants at Davies House include The Shutter Crew, which provides photography training, Devils Ride and Autoheal which repair and customise cars, Nick Neill Art who is an airbrush artist and provides training. AE Upholstery and Evesham Day Nursery also operates on site.
Matt Hardy, of Poppleton & Appleby, said: “The building has undergone considerable development work but additional investment is still needed to complete refurbishments.
“We will now work with JVCE and Wychavon District Council to find the best possible outcome.”