Over 1,300 jobs at the Manchester based Lifeline charity seem set to be saved after the Company has been placed into administration.

The Project, based on Oldham Street, was set up in 1971 and operates across England.

The charity collapsed last month after allegations of mismanagement were made to the charity commission last month by Roger Howard, a former trustee of Lifeline’s board, who is a leading figure in the drug and alcohol treatment field and served as chief executive of the UK Drug Policy Commission.

David Thornhill, Russell Cash and Geoff Carton-Kelly, of FRP Advisory, the business advisory firm, announced today that they have been appointed as joint administrators of the £60m based drug and alcohol charity.

They released a statement confirming that there would be no redundancies, and no beneficaries should have their services affected. Another charity, Change Grow Live, has taken on the majority of the charity’s work.

It has taken on 1,000 staff, including about 40 at its head office, including the senior directors and chief executive. The remaining projects and 300 staff have been taken on by local authorities.

The statement said that at the time of its collapse Lifeline ran around 70 projects and had 80,000 beneficiaries. In the past year further cuts to public spending and “some poorly funded projects” meant the charity saw its income drop and it made a “significant loss from its trading activities”.

Thornhill said Lifeline’s trustees had worked hard to minimise the impact. “Lifeline’s board and trustees have over many weeks been working tirelessly to ensure the continuity of its services and, in close co-ordination with relevant local authorities, helped create a solution to ensure the impact on beneficiaries and staff has been managed and minimised. I am grateful to the Charity Commission for their close co-operation throughout the process.

He added that:

“Sadly this does now mean the demise of Lifeline, a charity that has been operating from Manchester for well over 40 years and is clearly a blow to the charitable sector. However, we are delighted to have been able to transfer the majority of Lifeline’s contracts to CGL which has the resources and expertise to allow it to continue to prosper in this vital sector, providing much needed support to vulnerable people around the UK.”

David Biddle, chief executive of CGL, said: “We are delighted to have been able to step in to maintain many of the vital services previously provided by Lifeline and to have transferred the majority of staff to us. Those staff provide their invaluable expertise to services users and communities across the UK and it is work that must be continued. We are honoured to be part of that process.”


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