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Building Futures Group: Plot thickens as BCC questions closure

25 January 2016

The sudden demise of The Building Futures Group has left people in the industry not only saddened and shocked, but also mystified, as the organisation had given no indication it was in trouble, according to a press statement by the British Cleaning Council.

The BFG made the announcement with a brief press release on 14 Jan, saying it had ceased trading after ‘two successful years’, but offered no explanation as to why the end had come now.
"Their statement has led to some confusion as it gave the impression the company was thriving when in fact the opposite was true," says the BCC.

The BCC is now calling for the organisation to give a full and frank assessment of what went wrong, so lessons can be learned for the future, and help offered to those that have been affected by the shut-down.

"There is no option to contact the organisation through its website, as the content from both BFG’s and Asset Skills sites has been removed. The lack of clarity surrounding its demise has raised questions about the company's probity, particularly as it’s received a substantial amount of government funding."

There is no suggestion, at this stage, that any impropriety has taken place, but there is genuine concern that legitimate questions about the merger, and the subsequent business failure, have not been addressed, the BCC said.

The Building Futures Group was formed in April 2014 from Asset Skills and the Facilities Management Association. At the time, Chief Executive, Sarah Bentley, said: "The industry lacked a consolidated, industry voice… BFG will provide a platform that has been badly missing."

But although the new company started brightly enough, no platform was established, and now industry professionals are left pondering some unanswered questions.

BCC Chairman, Simon Hollingbery, said: “It’s never good to hear about a company closing, but the lack of information coming from BFG about the reasons for its closure is disappointing. The BCC and the rest of the cleaning industry needs to know what exactly went wrong, so that we can all learn lessons for the future.”

Stan Atkins, CEO of BICSc and Deputy Chairman of the BCC said: “The demise of BFG leaves a number of unanswered questions. It re-enforces the view that public money used by the Government has to be allocated by the agency with a knowledge of the industry involved. We need to understand what lessons can be learned from this."

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