ST IVES web marketing company Cream Worldwide will continue to trade after striking a deal with its creditors, who are owed more than £725,000.

ST IVES web marketing company Cream Worldwide will continue to trade after striking a deal with its creditors, who are owed more than £725,000.

The outcome was welcomed by the ­company’s managing director Craig Cook, but former employees, who are owed a total of £130,000 in wages, labelled the decision “immoral”.

At a hearing on Thursday to decide the company’s future, creditors holding 80 per cent of the debt voted for an arrangement that would see them repaid approximately one-third of the money they are owed.

About 15 former employees voted against the proposal, saying they would rather see the company liquidated because they felt the repayment plan was unrealistic.

Margaret Peers, spokesman for the group, said: “We feel that Cream Worldwide and Craig Cook have got away with it [not paying employees].

“The way employees were treated was wrong. The pain he put so many of his employees through – running down their life savings, missing rent payments and having to sell possessions – is simply immoral.”

At the meeting they submitted a list of questions which they hope to have answered by insolvency experts Wilson Field.

Ms Peers said: “We are still angry inside because of the morality of it. What he has done is morally wrong but the law is on his side.”

The arrangement will mean that Cream Worldwide, whose activities include ­making websites and online marketing videos, will pay £4,115 a month for the next five years, to be distributed among creditors.

That sum will be reviewed on an annual basis and could be increased if the business is trading particularly well.

Mr Cook, who was advised not to attend the hearing by Wilson Field, said that ­voting against the CVA would have been ­“destructive”, and chose to look on the ­positives of the outcome.

He said: “Present employees could have lost their jobs had the CVA not gone through.

“They were delighted when they found out on Thursday that the CVA had gone through – it secured their jobs, and they have families to support and mortgages to pay as well.”

Should Cream Worldwide not be able to maintain the payment arrangements – and about two-thirds of CVAs fail – the ­company runs the risk of being forced into liquidation, but Mr Cook said the company was now in profit and on a firm footing.

He said: “We have secured contracts on the basis of going into the CVA. The company now has a safe future and we will be able to move forward.”

The company has 26 contracts, he said, compared to six at the same stage of 2010, and had reduced staffing levels from more than 20 employees last year to 12.

Mr Cook said he had sympathy for the struggles of his former employees but that he had also suffered.

He said: “This is nothing but what ­thousands of other companies go through in their first year – they all struggle. I have masses of sympathy for all ex-staff. None of that has ever been lost on me.

“From the bottom of my soul, if I could whisk out my own cash and pay them, then I would.”

Despite the decision going against the former employees, who have disbanded their group, Ms Peers said the hearing had answered many questions and they would have to accept the CVA and move ­forward.

She said: “At least we know that many of us will get our money back, so now it is time to start moving on with our lives.

“We just hope that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”