Firm’s crash puts £80m Workington Corus 'village' in doubt
Last updated at 22:31, Thursday, 28 July 2011
An £80 million scheme to transform Workington’s former steelworks into a seaside community is in jeopardy after the collapse of the firm behind the plans.
Eatonfield Developments Limited, part of the Eatonfield Group, has been placed into liquidation after amassing about £27 million-worth of debt and liquidators Zolfo Cooper have been appointed to dispose of four of its sites, including Workington.
Its other 15 sites will be disposed of by receivers.
Eatonfield met with Allerdale council earlier this month to discuss the situation, just days after the firm went into liquidation.
Work was due to start on the 87-acre ex-Corus site this year.
Rob Lloyd, chief executive of Eatonfield, was unavailable for comment.
Plans were drawn up four years ago to create hundreds of houses, shops, a hotel, leisure facilities, a day care nursery, a care village for the elderly, a health centre, a pub and a promenade.
Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale council’s economic spokesman, said: “It is disappointing news to lose such a large regeneration project for Workington. We hope other developers will see the potential of the former Corus site and that the site will be regenerated in the not too distant future.”
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said the company’s collapse had been on the cards for months.
He added: “Rumours have been rife for months and it’s a shame for the whole region that Eatonfield was unable to carry out the work it promised.”
Stock market shares in Eatonfield were suspended in May and the firm’s telephone number has been disconnected.
The fate of Eatonfield was effectively sealed in 2008, when the construction sector began to feel the impact of the recession.
In a statement to the stock market in April, its board admitted: “Eatonfield has been in severe financial difficulty since the summer of 2008.
“Between that date and the autumn of 2009, the group was adversely affected by falling demand for residential property, which in turn reduced sales of housing units and land and, therefore, its ability to service its net debt.”
Mr Lloyd, 47, hit the national headlines last March after an audacious bid to buy cash-strapped Portsmouth Football Club. He also appeared as a Secret Millionaire on the Channel 4 hit show.
In 2009 the firm was bailed out by a £2.2 million emergency bank loan with debts reported to be £900,000, despite buying an extra 265 acres of land at Derwent Howe and Oldside to create a green energy zone and biomass plant with offices, homes, hotels and wind turbines.
The liquidators are now looking for expressions of interest in the Workington site.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 28 July 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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Massively super-massive Tesco Megastore, Tesco Worldwide Distribution Depot, Tesco Theme Park, Tesco Sports Ground, Tesco low cost housing development, Tesco Eco-Park and Tesco Holiday complex (a la Centre Parcs).With the money from the sale, ABC could fund another years councillors expenses.
Another failed pie in the sky project by wukintun council. How long before the ammo dump is in the same position? watch this space!! Isn't it time this second rate council pulled their heads out of their bums and engaged in projects that have at least a slim chance of becoming a reality. In fact here's a suggestion!! It would make a great site for a steel mill?
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