A WIRRAL meat-processing company has gone into administration with the loss of 50 jobs.

Rising costs of running the business and cooked meats becoming harder to obtain were behind Wallasey-based Hurstwood International's decision to close its factory.

The firm, in Alexandra Road. has been in business since 1978.

Colin Burke and Darren Brookes, partners in Milner Boardman & Partners, have been appointed joint administrators.

They are working with the Job Centre to help Hurstwood's former employees find work.

Mr Burke said "It is with sadness that we have to advise that Hurstwoods International after 36 years in business is to close.

"The business which was first set up by Gerry White and subsequently run by his son Gary White has provided high quality produce for its customers during this time.

"However, with ever increasing costs of running a business and the supply of cooked meats becoming harder to obtain, it has come to a critical point where they cannot continue to trade in the current climate.

"I know that the directors wanted to thank all their present and past customers, suppliers and staff for all the support that has been given to them over the years."

Founder Gerry White was a well-known local businessman and self-made multi-millionaire.

He was a long-standing chairman of Wirral Chamber of Commerce and co-owner of  Reddington Finance Group.

His group bought a 52-acre section of the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead from BAe for £10m in 2003, eventually selling it for an estimated £100m.

Mr White was a key player in the 1999 "Project Toffee" consortium of businessmen who tried to purchase Everton FC.

He died in 2008 aged 64 after a two-year battle with prostate cancer.