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Sumners closes MediaCityUK base and calls in liquidators

After our exclusive report on its alleged non-payment of freelancers yesterday, it’s been confirmed that Sumners has closed its MediaCityUK base and called in a firm of liquidators.

Co-founder Andy Sumner said that the decision to close came after a “significant change of policy” by its funders together with a “southward drift of postproduction work”.

He told Broadcast: “We are working hard to resolve the situation, and are currently in discussions with business advisers, valuers and individuals who are considering buying the complete facility.”

Staff have been told and work on CBBC series World’s End has been transferred to Timeline North, while the BBC is looking for another company to work on The Dumping Ground.

Regarding the outstanding payments to freelancers, Sumner added that “we are working hard to make sure everybody is paid what they are owed”.

The news represents a sad end for one of the North’s most established post production houses.

Founded in 1992 by Andy and Janet Sumner, the company turned over £5m in its heyday and was the largest such facility outside London.

The first hints of serious trouble came in late 2012 when it laid off a third of its workforce and relocated to smaller premises in MediaCityUK, relaunching with the aid of a company voluntary arrangement.

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