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Preston Guild Hall’s £10m unpaid bill and who it owes money to

Written by on January 13, 2021

The company formerly behind the running of Preston Guild Hall owed almost £10million to businesses, individuals, and its then owner when it closed its doors 19 months ago.

Preston Guild Hall Ltd entered administration in June 2019 following financial woes at the city firm. Company owner, the late Simon Rigby, applied to the High Court in Manchester, then citing the move would be temporary.

But the company remains in administration to this day, with the latest report from those charged with looking after the company published in early January 2021.

In the administrators progress report, administrator from company The Debt Advisor have revealed that a total of £4.505million is still owed to companies and people who dealt with the business before June 2019.

A total of £6.095m is owed to associated companies, with £1.551m owed to Preston Guild Hall Ltd.

Those who are owed cash include Preston City Council, with outstanding bills totalling more than £360,000.

HMRC is owed £365,000 for unpaid VAT and tax, with Lancashire County Council owed a further £137,987.54.

The company behind popular event Bongo’s Bingo, which had held shows at the Guild Hall since April 2017, is owed £25,531.10.

C. Hoare & Co, the UK’s oldest private bank, is owed £1.74million.



Simon Rigby collecting his MBE from Prince Charles in 2017

A further £5.45million is also owed to former owner and director Mr Rigby, who died in August last year.

Of the £5.3m, £2.9m is reported to have been pumped in to the company by Mr Rigby in the 10 months leading up to the decision to pursue administration.

Company cash reserves currently sit at just £26,228, with legal fees and expenses estimated to reach £39,197 by the end of the administration process.

Administrators have been able to claim a £1,818 refund for overpaying utilities. But book debts continue at around £13,329, with potentially collectable invoices sitting at £37,334.

At the time of the administration process, Preston Guild Hall Ltd had around 100 staff, with around £38,000 owed to them in pay and holiday pay and £660 in expenses. Administrators have spent around 80 hours liaising with employees.

Of the total owed by the company, claims of £66,159 have been submitted for redundancy pay and pay in lieu of notice.

Of the almost £10million that Preston Guild Hall Ltd owes, 472 claims totalling around a tenth of that – £926,513 – have been officially lodged with administrators.

Refunds of £112,175 remain outstanding in relation to tickets bought for future events that haven’t or may not go ahead.

Those who paid cash are not expected to get their money back, with it being classed as unsecured claims.

Those who paid via credit or debit card might be able to claim a refund.

Administrators said The Charter Theatre and Guild Hall remain closed and are unlikely to reopen any time soon.

Preston Guild Hall Ltd – who the company owes money to

This is not an exhaustive list but just some of the key monies owed to creditors of Preston Guild Hall Ltd

  • Advanced ticket sales – £112,570
  • Bill Kenwright Ltd – £69,077.64 (claim lodged)
  • Bright Lites UK – £25,174 (claim lodged for £26,176.80)
  • Chambers Touring – £31.919.51 (claim lodged for £27,919.51)
  • Clifton Quality Meats Limited – £129,313
  • EDF Energy – £34,535.42
  • Frank Whittle Partnership – £126,334.19 (claim lodged for £54,941.93)
  • HM Revenue & Customs (VAT) – £198,396
  • HM Revenue & Customs (Tax) – £166,853.51
  • C Hoare & Co – £1,740,000
  • Lancashire County Council – £137,987.54
  • Marstons – £37,015.27
  • Preston City Council (various sources) – £361,295.67
  • Redundancy Payments Service – £104,530.71
  • William Simon Rigby – £5,450,173
  • Shua Ltd (Bongo’s Bingo) – £25,531.10
  • Smartest Energy – £237,869.51 (claim lodged for £195,493.33)
  • The Birmingham Stage Co (London) Ltd – £13,810.86
  • VMS 2011 Ltd – £28,009.41