Suffolk: Firm behind Festival at Jimmy’s collapsed owing more than �1million

THE firm behind one of Suffolk’s biggest music and food festivals has left debts of more than �1million, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

Big Wheel Promotions – which ran Harvest at Jimmy’s for three years – collapsed leaving around two-dozen Suffolk and north Essex organisations out of pocket.

The list of the firm’s creditors, which has been seen by the EADT, reveals around �70,000 is owed to individuals and businesses in the region.

Jimmy’s Farm – based at Wherstead near Ipswich and run by television star Jimmy Doherty – said last night the festival was solely organised by Big Wheel Promotions. It added it is hoped the popular event would return with new organisers later this year.

It comes as Begbies Traynor, the corporate rescue firm handling the case, said under a Company Voluntary Arrangement creditors are expected to receive 20p in the pound for their debts.

Among the firm’s biggest creditors were Gofer Ltd – which provides generators and electrical distribution services – with �25,084; Suffolk Police Authority �10,874; and Ipswich Borough Council �12,480.

Dave Miller, managing director of Ipswich-based Gofer, said despite the money owed the festival was a great success.

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“Of course it had an impact, it’s come off my bottom line,” said Mr Miller. “If we’d been paid I would have had a Caribbean holiday, but I have got a tent in the back garden!

“You have to put your head up and be as positive as possible,” he added. “We’re still trading and we have a good year ahead of us.”

A spokeswoman for Jimmy’s Farm said: “Jimmy’s Farm was mortified when they received the news that Big Wheel Promotions had ceased trading and shocked that they had left money owing to so many national and local businesses.

“The news came at the end of a three-year contract with Big Wheel Promotions who were the sole organisers of Harvest at Jimmy’s.

“After two successful festivals at Jimmy’s Farm, Jimmy and Michaela were confident that Big Wheel were responsible, reliable and qualified to run a third festival – and indeed had offered terms to run the festival for a further five years – so there was no reason for them to believe that there was anything wrong.

“Jimmy and Michaela would like to reassure visitors to the farm that they intend to take up the baton and continue to invite food and music fans to a similar festival in 2012.”

Harvest at Jimmy’s began in 2009, combining top names from the world of music and food.

Thousands of people have attended the family festival each year, with many camping on site over the weekend. Last year’s event was a 20,000 sell-out.

Big Wheel, based in London, introduced a sister festival to Harvest at Jimmy’s last year, run at a farm belonging to Alex James, of the rock band Blur, in Oxfordshire.