As time runs out on Hallam Estates, owners of the Grand, we hear of yet another cause for anxiety for its director Robert Moss (below left) , and shadow director Michael Stainer (below right).
We have heard that the Council want their money back!!
What money? The £25,000 Hallam received back in April under the Small Business or Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Scheme, administered by Folkestone and Hythe District Council. This scheme was rolled out with much fanfare and little preparation and the Council had to play catch-up because they failed to notice important regulations governing state aid.
Local councillor Tim Prater was one who realised the problem when on the 23rd June, he posted on his blog:
All businesses that have had grant aid support via Folkestone and Hythe District Council in the form of the Small Business Grant (£10,000) or Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant (£10,000 – £25,000) have now received a form to complete to confirm they were eligible for the grant and that they can keep it.
This form includes the following declaration:
I confirm my undertaking was not in difficulty (within the meaning of Article 2 (18) of the General Block Exemption Regulation on 31 December 2019.
Help and assistance was on offer to Mr Moss for filling in the form from the business rates team at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, on 01303 853223 in office hours.
This EU rule still applies, and in essence means you are saying your business was not bankrupt, in liquidation, held by the receiver or in the process of becoming any of these things. The rules in full are here: State Aid Regulation
By the time Hallam Estates returned this form, assuming it did, it had already received a Statutory Demand for unpaid service charges at the Grand as far back as October 2019. On February 21st, Judge Stuart Frith threw out their application to set aside this Demand. On April 17th, Judge Anthony Zacaroli threw out a further appeal, and at the time of writing, five subsequent appeals have been rejected.
So either Hallam’s director, Robert Moss failed to return the form, or completed it in a way that the Council, clearly by now aware of Hallam’s situation, are unhappy with.
The Shepway Vox Team
Being Voxatious is NOT a Crime