Luxury hotel firm owes £880,000 including thousands to staff after collapse
PUBLISHED: 06:34 13 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 14 April 2019
The firm behind a luxury city hotel owes almost £900,000 and has been reported to the regulator over unpaid staff pension contributions.
The four-star St Giles House Hotel in Norwich city centre was run by a company called ENSCO 1035 until last week when it went into liquidation and was taken over by the hotel’s landlord.
The hotel remains open but staff who have left say they are owed thousands of pounds in wages and risk losing their homes.
One ex-employee, who did not want to be named, said she was struggling to pay her rent. “Some people are losing their homes because they can’t pay their rent,” she said. “I have had to take my child out of child care.”
She added staff had not been paid their wages since February.
Two staff members also raised concerns about pensions. They have received letters from the National Employment Savings Trust stating ENSCO 1035 had been reported to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for not paying pension contributions on time.
One staff member said she only had £26 in her online pensions account despite paying into it for more than a year.
A TPR spokesman said he was unable to comment.
Liquidator FA Simms stepped in at the end of March and found ENSCO 1035 owed £91,000 to employees, £385,000 to the taxman, £28,000 to Norwich City Council and £268,000 to the landlord of St Giles House. Another £123,000 is owed to other businesses.
The statement of accounts, signed by director Susan Parker, reveals the firm only has £61,000 in assets to meet its debts of £880,000. The company is owned by businessman Lindsay Berry.
Another firm half-owned by Mr Berry, Alpamare UK Limited, which runs a waterpark in Scarborough, also brought in liquidators earlier this year as it owes £3.4m to creditors. It reached a deal with creditors in January to stay open.
We left a message for Mr Berry asking for comment. The hotel also did not respond to requests for comment.
Landlord Roland Duce said earlier this month that ENSCO 1035 had failed to pay staff and suppliers for “some time”.
He added the hotel had “retained the services of key personnel to ensure a continuity of provision, and is keen to develop plans to put the hotel firmly back on course”.