A company connected with the ambitious Roman Quarter development has been wound up after the receivers were called in concerning debts exceeding £5 million.

Now, Rougier House Developments, based at Ogleforth House, York, has gone into liquidation, which follows receivers being called in at a sister company last May.

This follows the site going on the market last February, just months after the major project was approved by City of York Council in October 2022.

The Roman Quarter with its Eboracum underground museum, 153-apartments, and 88-room hotel, plus 20,000 square foot office space, was planned for a 0.7ha site in Rougier Street.


Eboracum promised 500,000 visitors a year, creating 50 new jobs and boosting the visitor economy by £21 million a year.

It was described as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” for York, giving it a boost by promoting the city’s Roman heritage, just as much as the Jorvik Centre boosted York’s Viking heritage. This too would also be run by the York Archaeological Trust.

City of York Council had commissioned a report saying the scheme would be unviable, but one of the development partners, North Star (York) Investment Ltd stressed it would be viable over the longer term.

However, Rougier Street Developments Ltd, which owned the site of the proposed development, went into receivership on May 4, 2023.

York Press: Artiusts impression of the scheme

The private listed company, also based at Ogleforth House, has Stephen James Ellis, 71, and 62-year-old John Howard Neal as its two directors. The owners are listed as Rougier Street Developments Holdings Ltd with 50-75 per cent of shares and voting rights and North Star (York) Investment Ltd as having the remainder.

Companies House also records Rougier House Developments, the second company in receivership, as having John Howard Neal and Stephen James Ellis as its two sole directors.

This private limited company is co-owned by North Star (York) Investment Ltd, Neal Investments Ltd and the Recantos Trust 2015. Each owned more than a quarter but less than half, with each also having more than a quarter and less than half voting rights.

Companies House reports that receivers were called in during September 2023 as those who had lent the venture money sought to recover what they were owed.

York Press: Roman Museum: artist's impression of the entrance to the underground museum

More recently, at a General Meeting of the Company at Ogleforth House on January 16, Rougier House Developments was wound up voluntarily. FTS Recovery of Milton Keynes was appointed liquidator.

A Statement of Affairs dated January 4 and published last Friday (January 26) says Rougier House Developments had creditors, who were owed £5.26 million.

The liquidators report also lists 19 entities who were owed a total of £5,281,506 between them.

They include City of York Council (Council Tax) £9,600; City of York Council (Business Rates) £51,800; Ebor Trustees and Ian Needham £965,000; Neal Investments £598,400; Octopus Real Estate of London £1,327,000; Rougier Street Developments £89,900; Together Commercial Finance of Cheshire £1,300,000 and the Leeds-based York Syndicate £900,000.

In addition, Companies House also reports that Rougier Street Development Holdings Ltd, which owns most of Rougier Street Developments, is also based at Oglethorpe House.

This company also has Stephen James Ellis and John Howard Neal as its only directors. Its ownership is listed as having North Star (York) Investment Ltd, with 25-50 per cent shares and voting rights and Neal Investments Ltd also having 25-50 per cent shares and voting rights, plus the right to appoint and remove directors.

Companies House also records that accounts for Rougier Street Development Holdings are overdue. The Registrar of Companies gave notice on November 28, 2023 that unless cause is shown to the contrary, the company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than two months from that date.