Pub goes into liquidation with debts totalling £90,000

The Manor House pub in Wortham which has recently shut down.

The Manor House pub in Wortham which has recently shut down. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The former director of a popular pub and takeaway forced the business into liquidation after he took a £100,000 loan from the business and did not repay it, according to liquidators.

The Manor House, a pub and Thai restaurant in Wortham near the Suffolk-Norfolk border, closed its doors for good in October.

Then on November 3, Blue Dolphin Inn Ltd, the company which ran the pub appointed liquidators from MHA Larking Gowen.

Lee Green, a partner at MHA Larking Gowen and one of the named liquidators, said: “The company ultimately had to cease trading due to its inability to pay its debts, which totalled approximately £90,000. The company’s largest creditor HMRC are owed in the region of £65,000 in respect of various tax debts.”

According to Mr Green the debts mounted up after a former director took a loan from the business and did not repay it.

An amended version of the company’s accounts for the year ending May 31, 2018, show that a former director owed the company £104,695. Companies House lists John Parr as the only former director of the company - after his appointment was terminated in May 2017.

“As can been seen from the historic accounting records filed at Companies House, issues largely arose when a former director withdrew funds in excess of £100,000 from the company which were not repaid,” Mr Green said.

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“The unpaid loan itself would have caused the company to become liable to a tax charge.”

Mr Green said he had written to the company’s creditors saying the debt had been written off in the accounts as unrecoverable but that he would consider whether any further action should be taken.

“It also transpired that initial trading income had not been properly reported to HMRC which, once established and agreed with HMRC, resulted in further tax liabilities.”

According to the liquidators, Covid-19 also had an effect on the business’s ability to trade.

He added: “I understand the company’s lease, which was due to expire at the end of the year, was offered for renewal but on a much increased rate of rent.”

However, a spokesman for Star Pubs and Bars, which owns the premises, said: “The Manor House is a great, sustainable pub. It had been leased on a five-year lease during which time there had been no increases in rent.

“This rent review saw the rent being increased by 10% to bring it in line with market rents.

“We are sad to see the current licensee leave and wish them all the best for the future. We will be recruiting a new licensee to lease The Manor House.”

Mr Green asked that anyone owed money by Blue Dolphin Inn Ltd register their details with MHA Larking Gowen.

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