The charity, which provided private sector companies and educationalists with research, training and consultancy services around e-learning, saw its income drop from £27.5 million for the financial year that ended in March 2010 to around £13 million in 2011. The firm also ran into difficulties over its pension liabilities, which jumped from £5.2m to £7.9m despite higher levels of employee contributions.
The Learning and Skills Network employed 117 people in five different companies: Technology for Learning; the National Extension College; Education, Skills and Research; Development Services and the Learning and Skills Development Agency (Northern Ireland)/Learning and Skills Network.
Joint administrator David Hurst from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “The charity…has suffered a dramatic decline in contract income since 2009 with its funded programmes diminished due primarily to the cuts in government spending.”
But he hoped that the LSN would be able to continue operating under different ownership as there had been interest in a number of the charity’s activities from potential buyers. "Our immediate priority is to seek buyers for the successful businesses within the charity, to enable their long term survival, preserve jobs and continue supporting customers and students,” Hurst said.
PwC reported that there has been a marked increase in the number of charities looking for help in the wake of the Government’s 2010 Spending Review.