The Underwater Centre, a subsea training centre in Fort William, Scotland, has been placed under administration.
The company, through which 200 diving and ROV students per year receive training, had in May said it had ‘turned a corner’ after receiving industry support, has now stopped trading.
The Underwater Centre’s website is not functional and it only contains the following: “Important Notice: The Underwater Centre has ceased trading and is not taking any future bookings whilst we are placed into administration. If you would like to speak to our Student Advisors regarding a booking already made, then please call 01397 703 786. Thank you.”
We have reached out to the Underwater Centre seeking more details on the reasons and on the consequences of the halt of trading. We will update the article if we receive a response.
BBC has reported that some 50 jobs at the Centre are at risk.
The Highland Council has said it is concerned for Lochaber and the wider Highlands “as it understands that one of the region’s specialist companies The Underwater Centre in Fort William has ceased trading.”
Andrew Baxter, Highland Council’s Lochaber Committee Chair said: “I am very disappointed to hear about the situation at the Underwater Centre. This is a world-class facility which is unique in the UK.
“Our immediate concerns are for the 50 staff employed at the center which is one of Fort William’s largest employers, and for the welfare of the students, many of whom are from overseas. The council will be seeking meetings on site to see how we might assist.”
As reported in May, the Underwater Centre said it would operate as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which was to be funded and supported by its members, comprising operators, service companies, and industry. At the time, the Centre said senior representatives of Subsea 7, TechnipFMC and Premier Oil would join the board of The Underwater Centre.
The industry supported restructuring was to ensure that the industry “continues to have access to critical, world-leading underwater training and can undertake vital subsea equipment trials.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff