Lighthouse Project closure could mean 250 job losses

North-west drugs charity had irresolvable financial difficulties, according to trustees

Major Merseyside drugs charity the Lighthouse Project is to close today with the potential loss of 250 jobs, according to local reports.

Trustees of the charity, which had an income of nearly £8.75m and expenditure of almost £9.5m in 2007/08, told the Liverpool Echo that their decision to put the charity into administration was prompted by "irresolvable financial difficulties".

The trustees said: "We very much hope that future service providers will appreciate the high quality of the staff who have earned the charity its very high reputation to date, and we hope that those staff will find fresh employment in the very near future."

They said steps were in hand to ensure continuity of treatment and support for the charity's drug and alcohol-dependent service-users. A statement issued on behalf of PCTs and councils in Merseyside confirmed that a plan was in place.

A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said he understood the charity had told its staff that it would cease to trade by 5pm today.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said it understood the charity had closed and the regulator had received complaints about its governance. "We are currently assessing these to see what role, if any, there might be for us," she said.

No one at the Lighthouse Project was available for comment.

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