THE majority of employees of caravan retailer Discover Leisure have been made redundant.

The business, which is headquartered in Newbald, East Yorkshire, has kept 20 employees to work with the administrators on getting to grips with outstanding customer orders, but about 240 people have been made redundant across the business’s five sites in York, Darlington, Birtley, Delamere, and Chorley.

Only two people have been kept on at the York branch, based at Flaxton Moor, with 25 people being made redundant.

Discover Leisure plc, and its trading subsidiary Signlease Ltd, appointed administrators on Friday after suspending its shares on AIM when it became apparent it was unable to solve funding problems.

It said demand for leisure vehicles had rapidly declined after the 2008 financial crisis. In a statement released on Friday, it said: "Prior to the company's suspension of trading in its shares, negotiations were ongoing with a number of parties and it was hopeful that sufficient additional funding or a business disposal would be completed. It has now, however, become clear that neither solution can be achieved within the foreseeable future. As a result, and following discussions with the company's lenders, unfortunately it also became clear that the company was unable to continue trading as a going concern."

The administrators said they were still trying to sell the business, but closed it in the short term whilst they pursue offers.

Mark Firmin, KPMG’s Northern head of Restructuring, said: “Discover has faced a difficult market over an extended period of time, with persistently depressed consumer demand for high value discretionary items in particular.”

The administrators have set up a customer hotline on 0845 617 1490 for questions regarding ongoing orders, insurance arranged by Discover, vehicles in for service or repair, or any other queries.

The firm, which also sells motorhomes, shut 11 of its trading sites in 2009 after it approved a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and refinancing of its banking facilities.