Kersey: Ex-wedding venue up for sale
A FORMER Suffolk wedding venue has been put up for sale for �1.8 million - but dozens of couples left out of pocket by its closure will not see a penny of that money.
Kersey Mill, a Grade II* listed mill house and water mill, is being sold by Carter Jonas.
The buildings were formerly owned by a board of trustees, including Rodney Kerr and Christina Mellor.
They were also the directors of Kersey Mill Ltd, the company that ran weddings and events at the site that it rented from the trust at a rate of �1 a year.
When the mill property was repossessed over the trust’s financial problems, the company collapsed leaving creditors facing a shortfall of more than �600,000.
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Any funds raised by the sale of the mill and house will not go to the unsecured creditors of the company but to settling the trust’s outstanding bank debts.
In a document sent out to creditors of Kersey Mill Ltd, the company that ran events and the leisure facilities at the Mill, joint-liquidator Lee De’ath of Chantrey Vellacott explained the reasons for the repossession of the property.
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He said: “The company (Kersey Mill Ltd) occupied Kersey Maltings under a lease granted in September 2008 for a period of 23 years. Completely separately the Mellor family have occupied Kersey Mill House and Mill since 1978.
“Unfortunately the trustees representing Mrs Mellor’s interest had borrowed significant sums of money against the property, without the means to repay the debt.
“The lender has requested their money back. The trustees were unable or unwilling to pay or to refinance the debt, so the lender foreclosed on the trustees.
“As a result of this the lender took possession of the house and mill and then subsequently the maltings.”
Last night Mrs Mellor declined to comment.
The company believed it had secure tenure under the terms of its lease but decided it did not have the financial resources to contest the lender’s move to take possession and the “reluctant decision” to cease trading was made.
Helen Spilsted, one of the brides let down by the collapse, enjoyed her rearranged marriage on Monday but remains more than �4,000 out of pocket after being let down by Kersey Mill Ltd.
Last night she said: “There we go - somebody is going to get their money somewhere along the line but it won’t be us, which is a bit galling really.”