Court action forces fracking firm to cut workforce by a fifth

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources has slashed its workforce by a fifth to 23 amid a further delay in the start of its flagship shale gas drilling project in Lancashire.

The hold up in the start of fracking at the site in Little Plumpton on the Fylde contributed to losses of up to £15m which were reported last October.

Parent company Cuadrilla Resources Holdings was boosted when local opponents – Preston New Road Action Group – to its project lost a High Court challenge against the scheme recently.

However, the group has now been granted the right to appeal the decision, resulting in further delays.

Cost cutting measures include reducing the number of directors from three to two and cutting the overall headcount by a fifth to 23 Lancashire-based staff.

Cuadrilla also moved its base from Staffordshire to Lancashire in late 2015, leading to a decrease in staff numbers as those unwilling to work in the new location left the company.

The company has no revenue and has not fracked since 2011 when it caused earth tremors near Blackpool, triggering a Government moratorium while further safety tests were carried out.

The Telegraph reported that Cuadrilla said it was “confident consent will not be overturned” in the latest challenge against its plans.