Architects enter into creditors agreement to save firm

Downs Variava Architects, with offices in Liverpool and Manchester, has entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors in order to keep trading.

The court-administered arrangement allows DVA to repay debts from future earnings. The firm has made a handful of staff redundant to trim costs but still employs more than 20 from offices in Edge Lane, Liverpool and Didsbury, South Manchester.

The firm is owed several hundred thousand pounds by Windsor Development Liverpool, a special purpose vehicle for the 400-unit residential L1 scheme which collapsed in spring 2007 after a dispute with contractor Laing O'Rourke.

Administrator Shay Bannon at BDO Stoy Hayward in London said discussions were ongoing with bidders for WDL's land in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle. No agents have been appointed to sell the sites and Bannon would not discuss an estimated price.

DVA's other work includes a chapel at Liverpool University, offices in Cheadle Royal, and a courtyard at Manchester Business School.

John Hickey, director of DVA, said other projects besides WDL had also slowed due to the credit crunch, contributing to the financial difficulties.

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