The administrators of an insolvent charity that provided vital adult education and community services in under-privileged areas has appointed CAPA to audit the organisation, to help generate further returns to creditors.

FRP Advisory, the corporate restructuring and insolvency firm, has instructed CAPA to conduct rates audits on Aspire Sussex - which helped hard-hit communities across West Sussex with learning courses for residents.

The charity was set up in 2021 and employed more than 180 staff in Sussex – including 101 tutors who taught in their local communities.

The organisation received most of its funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), a government agency that funds skills training and further education across the country.

Aspire Sussex had experienced various challenges in delivering its learning programmes, both at classroom and online levels, causing it to fall short of delivering targets set by the ESFA. The trustees then became concerned as whether it could continue operating due to the losses it was incurring.

Although West Sussex County Council provided extra funding and Aspire Sussex worked through a cost-cutting programme, the charity still struggled with take-up of its courses, and in turn was unable to deliver objectives under the grant provided by ESFA.

Due to reduced income from course fees, challenges to reduce costs and no further financial support from the council, the charity entered administration, with Christopher Stevens and Phil Harris, of FRP, appointed as administrators in November 2022.

FRP’s instruction to CAPA will see CAPA’s Audit team conduct a forensic audit of rates paid out at the six sites the charity occupied.

Deploying bespoke software, the auditors will interrogate the data to identify any errors or anomalies, before recovering any overpayments for creditors on a no-win no-fee basis.