Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Deaf Society collapse: Home closed.

ONE of Blackburn's most prominent office developments has been sold off after the collapse of the East Lancashire Deaf Society. 

King's Court, in King Street, Blackburn, has been sold off following the demise of the East Lancs Deaf SocietyKing's Court was one of the was key assets held by the Heaton Street-based charity, which collapsed last June. Administrators have now confirmed that the offices, which latterly had 13 tenants, had been sold to Properties North West, on behalf of Last Seconds Manchester. "The sale completed for £925,000. 

The purchaser also paid interest totalling £1,258," said administrator Robert Colman. "The funds from the sale will be forwarded to the joint administrators shortly." Charity Bank, one of the deaf society's main creditors, is receiving £826,507 following the sale, it has been confirmed, though they may still be owed another £191,000 as a result of the deaf society's demise. And £564,000 is still owed to an East Lancashire couple who hold a fixed charge over King's Court. 

 Another £25,645 has been collected in rent for King's Court offices, conference bookings and car parking space rent over the period, says an update report. Rent debts of £6,669 have also been collected from past tenants. Other debts of £75,045 were owed to the society and £21,170 has been recouped. Administrators have also been attempting to recover paperwork from the DWP - the charity's principal reason for failure was the withdrawal of Access to Work scheme contracts with the agency. 

But Mr Colman said that despite a number of requests, the DWP had not delivered the necessary records. He says that the agency is arguing there is no money owed to the charity - and in fact they intend to make a "substantial claim" against the deaf society as part of the proceedings. Mr Colman also said that a number of investigations were still ongoing concerning transactions revealed in the deaf society's bank statements. An attempt has been made, for instance, to access a bank account held for one of the charity's associated entities, Deaf Children North West, which Santander has refused. 

An estimated £71,563 would be outstanding from unpaid employee wages and holiday pay, according to the administrators, though no claim has yet been made from the Redundancy Payments Office, and unpaid pension contributions could total £4,818.

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