A Derbyshire hotel, which was part of the collapsed Norton Motorcycles empire, has narrowly avoided being wound up for non-payment of tax.
The 42-bedroom Priest House hotel in Castle Donnington went into administration on 29 January, along with sister companies Norton Motorcycles (UK), Norton Motorcycle Holdings and Donington Hall Estates. Accountancy firm BDO was appointed to run the businesses.
The hotel faced a winding up order at the High Court’s Insolvency and Companies Court in London this morning as the result of an undisclosed debt to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
However, the barrister for HMRC told Insolvency Judge Clive Jones that the sum outstanding has now been paid and asked for the winding up petition to be dismissed. The judge agreed and dismissed the order.
Norton Motorcycles acquired the hotel, which is located in a converted Norman mill tower and 17th-century cottage, from Hand Picked Hotels off a guide price of £3.25m, in December 2015.
At the time, Stuart Garner, chief executive of Norton Motorcycles, said buying the hotel made “perfect sense” as it sat alongside the event space at Donington Hall which the company already owned.
“Combining the two properties gives operational scale and a fabulous offering to our clients. with a combined 80 acres of grounds, bordered by an ancient deer park and the River Trent, our location is second to none.”
The government has been criticised in the past month for pumping “millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money" into the motorbike business. Meg Miller, chair of parliament’s public accounts committee, is to ask for an inquiry into events leading up to the collapse of Norton Motorcycles and its related companies.