A parent company behind a Preston city centre bar and restaurant has been placed into compulsory liquidation after a court heard claims it pushed an electrical firm close to bankruptcy.Advertisement
Bravado Group Limited has been wound up following the hearing in August at Preston County Court.
It comes as a judge heard how the company, which operated 1842 Bar and Restaurant in Lune Street, was said to have not paid a bill of more than £35,000 for electrical works carried out during the refit of the bar.
1842 Bar and Restaurant, formerly the Corn Exchange, reopened under the stewardship of directors Brandon Seddon, Christine Seddon and Michael Seddon in late 2016 trading as the Bravado Group.
Mick Duerden Electrical Contractors Limited, based in New Hall Lane, say they carried out extensive work on the bar during its refurbishment and were left with unpaid invoices of £37,848.75 sent on 19 November 2016 and 13 December 2016 for work and materials upon completion of the job – a claim disputed by the Bravado Group during the court hearing regarding the cost of the work.
Hayley Duerden, company secretary, said they had tried numerous times to get the Bravado Group and the Seddon’s to pay up.
She said: “We tried everything but they just wouldn’t pay. In the end we were left with no choice but to take the matter to the courts.
“It’s a large sum of money and they disputed the cost of the materials and then that the amount was over-charging them.
“We still don’t have a penny from them for these two invoices but I am glad they have not been allowed to go ahead with placing themselves in voluntary liquidation. Instead the judge put them into compulsory liquidation and hopefully they will be investigated.
“This brought us to the edge of bankruptcy, we’re only a small firm. This kind of thing happens so often with people changing companies and getting voluntary insolvency.
“I have stuck to my guns and I am glad what happened can be highlighted.”
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The Bravado Group – who carried out the bar’s refurb – had placed itself into voluntary liquidation on 3 July. Bravado Leisure Limited – with the same three directors – continued to operate Bar 1842 as it had done since it opened.
On 15 September, shortly before the judgement hearing on 26 September, the Seddon’s – directors of all three companies – changed the name of Bravado Leisure to Acorn Leisure. Acorn Leisure now operates 1842 Bar which has continued to trade throughout.
The court judgement outlines how Bravado Group was said to owe £534,395 to eight different creditors including Preston City Council when it filed for voluntary insolvency.
Deputy District Judge Reynolds refused to allow Bravado Group to be wound up by voluntary liquidation, instead placing them into compulsory liquidation.
He highlighted in his decision the money spent on developing The Rabbit Hole – an outdoor gin bar – and payments to SJS Ceilings and Interiors as taking place after Mick Duerden Limited filed in April this year to reclaim the cost of their unpaid invoices.
Bravado Group, and its three directors, could now face a forensic independent financial investigation by an accounting firm – if decided by the official receiver – to establish whether Mick Duerden Electrical can be paid for their work. They have also been ordered to pay the court costs of Mick Duerden Electrical and the liquidation costs.
A spokeswoman for 1842 Bar and Restaurant said: “1842 Bar is owned and operated by Acorn Leisure Limited.
“The court made the Order to wind up Bravado Group Limited on a compulsory basis.
“Therefore the Order of the Court has no impact on the staff and customers of 1842 Bar, the bar continues to trade and is unaffected.
“As far as Bravado Group Limited is concerned, the Court made a Winding Up Order and the result of the Order is that the company was placed into compulsory liquidation.
“The Judge simply gave priority to the compulsory order over the voluntary liquidation. Whether there is to be any investigation is a matter for the Official Receiver and the Liquidator that they appoint, if any. The Court did not order that there should or would be an investigation following a compulsory order.”
As of Thursday (19 October) then 1842 Bar was open and continuing to trade, and remains so.