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York owed thousands from wheel operator collapse
ORGANISATIONS in York are owed tens of thousands of pounds in bad debts from the operator of York Wheel, which went into administration in July.
The Royal York Hotel, which hosts the wheel in its grounds, is owed £77,727; City of York Council is owed £50,300 and Visit York is owed £1,794 by Great City Attractions Global (GCAG).
A number of smaller York businesses are also owed between £280 and £600 after GCAG, which operated sightseeing wheels in Liverpool, Plymouth and York, collapsed owing more than £6 million.
Administrator Jason Groocock, of G2 Insolvency Limited said the business was being wound up and it was uncertain whether these unsecured creditors would be paid anything.
The wheels in York and Plymouth continue to trade, after a company set up by director Elliott Hall, called The Hall Organisation, entered into a new operating agreement with Shipley Investments, which financed three of the wheels and has a long association with previous companies operating the wheels.
York’s first big wheel, which was based next to the National Railway Museum until November 2008, was operated by WTA Global Holdings, which went into administration in December 2010 leaving debts of £16 million.
WTA Global Holdings was bought out by Elliot Hall Limited, a company set up by WTA director, Elliot Hall. It later changed its name to Great City Attractions Global.
The wheel returned to the city in December after City of York Council gave permission for the 53-metre high, 42-pod wheel to be located in the gardens of the Royal York Hotel until January 2013.
Ian Floyd, director of customer and business support services at City of York Council, said: “The council has submitted a ‘proof of debt’ to the administrators because the current outstanding business rates owed by Great City Attractions Global Ltd which are collected on behalf of the government by City of York Council, total just over £50,000.
“Although it is named as a debtor, in fact the council will not lose any money as a result of the company’s unfortunate collapse because, until April 1, 2013, the council simply collects local business rates on behalf of central government.”