A SOUTHAMPTON motorcycle dealer faces an uncertain future after it shut up shop.

The Dockgate 20 Harley-Davidson dealership closed yesterday after a staff meeting.

The doors to the showroom were open today but customers were being directed to deal with an insolvency firm in East Sussex.

Another business rescue firm David Rubin & Partners LLP later announced it had been appointed to help the troubled firm following a decision by Harley Davidson not to renew franchise agreements which expire on December 31.

However the London accountants said Dockgate 20 Motorcyles Ltd had not entered into any formal insolvency process and could be sold as a going concern.

As many as 18 jobs are understood to be at risk at the dealership, which opened in 1997.

A worker at the store this morning said: "We're going to be hanging open for a few days but it basically will cease, it has ceased.

"The staff are no longer employed here and we won't be paid next month.

"Eighteen of us roughly are going to be unemployed for Christmas.

"Saturday night will probably be the last day of trading really.”

A spokeswoman for David Rubin said the intention was to continue trading but could not confirm whether the dealership would be open tomorrow or whether staff were still in a job.

Management at the dealership said this morning that it was closing and going into administration although declined to comment further.

A sign in the window of the showroom was telling customers to contact Eastbourne based business rescue and insolvency firm Adam Smith business Developments Ltd.