Qube unable to pay £3m to creditors after collapse

The large training provider suddenly closed at the end of March

The large training provider suddenly closed at the end of March

Qube Learning has left creditors owed almost £3 million worth of debt following its collapse, new insolvency documents show.

FE Week revealed at the end of March that the company, which was one of the country’s largest training providers, ceased trading without warning, leaving hundreds of staff and thousands of learners in the dark about their future.

Qube’s statement of affairs, published this week by voluntary liquidators Interpath Advisory, outlined the extent of its insolvency. Creditors will be left over £2.95 million out of pocket following the sale of the failed company’s assets.

Owner Claire Whichello told staff in an email when it shut down that there was “too much uncertainty” to continue trading due to “increased competition in the apprenticeship market, challenges regarding stagnant funding bands, uncertainty around adult education budget contracts and the expected expiry of our traineeship contracts”.

The news followed an abrupt withdrawal by the Department for Education of its HGV skills bootcamps contract just days before its sudden closure.

Interpath liquidators identified over £4.2 million worth of assets, including a £1.5 million director loan, but estimated that only £691,273 can be raised to pay off its debts to preferential creditors, namely former employees and tax owed to the government.

The training provider, which made 203 staff redundant, is expected to pay back over £300,000 of wage arrears and holiday accrual to former employees. Liquidators will then realise the debt owed to HMRC to the sum of £303,359.

But Qube’s remaining available assets will not be enough to mitigate its large liabilities from unsecured creditors.

The statement of affairs revealed that Qube owes money to more than 200 trade creditors, the largest being HMRC, the Department for Education, Vodafone. It also owes money to lenders such as National Westminster Bank and IWOCA.

Liquidators have estimated that Qube has accrued an approximate £2.95 million total deficiency that it will not be able to pay back. The company was struggling to make a profit according to its latest accounts for the year ending December 31, 2021. In the year, Qube recorded revenue of £10.9 million but posted a loss of £590,000. It made a £744,000 profit the year before.

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