Shotley Gate: Couple face losing �9k wedding payment

A TERMINALLY-ILL young father could lose up to �9,000 after paying in advance for a summer wedding at a venue that has now gone out of business.

A few days before Christmas James Bevan, 25, used the last chunk of the compensation he was awarded when doctors failed to notice he had a rare form of cancer on paying the entire bill for the event at Kersey Mill, set for this June.

But he was shocked to learn this week that Kersey Mill Ltd, the company which ran the site, had gone into voluntary liquidation.

Dozens of couples, including Mr Bevan and his fianc� Leanne Atkins, 23, are set to lose thousands of pounds after the popular wedding venue ceased trading with up to 50 weddings booked-in.

Mr Bevan, who is a trained chef, said: “We’ve lost about �9,000. Luckily my partner and I got wedding insurance just last week.

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“The money we used to pay for the wedding was pretty much all we had left from my medical negligence payout.

“We had paid the deposit a year ago and were sent a letter just before Christmas and paid the remaining �8,000 – we were going to have a big do.

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“We’ve been engaged since 2005 and I had always promised Leanne her dream wedding.”

The EADT reported in 2005 that Mr Bevan, who now lives with his fiance and their daughter in Shotley Gate, was seriously ill and had just a ten per cent chance of survival.

Only a few months ago he was given between five-to-ten years to live by doctors but said his positive outlook, fostered over the past few years, had helped him deal the wedding setback.

He said: “The only way to be is to be positive, but I’m finding it hard at the moment. We’ll get there. It’s going to take a lot of good will and we have friends and family rallying round.

“We have been really lucky that we have found another venue (Glemham Hall) who have said that anyone who has problems with Kersey Mill can have 10% discount, which is great.”

In a letter posted on the Kersey Mill Ltd website, which has now been taken offline, director Rodney Kerr said the company was unable to “guarantee the performance of existing and future bookings” and told creditors to contact Chantrey Vellacott DFK.

He said: “Further information regarding the events leading up to the cessation of trade and the Company’s financial information, will be provided at the meeting of creditors, and subsequently circulated to all known creditors by post.

“Any party that is owed monies in respect of deposits or other payments made in relation to an event booking should contact their event insurers if such a policy was taken out.”

Have you been affected by the closure of Kersey Mill? Call the Newsdesk on 01473 324732.

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