Jobs axed as hotels and play areas shut

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

DOZENS of workers have lost their jobs through the shock closures of five of Stephanie Booth businesses.

A confirmed 89 redundancies have been implemented after the spate of closures, while the futures of more than 100 other staff remain uncertain with administrators appointed for Llangollen Hotels Limited and its parent company Global Investments Group.

The shock closure of The Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Wrexham last week has been followed by The Chester Bridge Hotel in Lower Bridge Street, Chester and The Anchor Hotel, Ruthin, also shutting their doors.

The Fantastic Fun House children’s soft play centres in Wrexham and Mold, which formed part of the Global Investment Group and were leasehold properties, were also closed by directors before the administrators were appointed.

David Costley-Wood, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG along with Brian Green, said: “The Global Investment Group expanded rapidly into a range of leisure businesses and built up substantial debt in the process.

“The business is now no longer able to make payments as they fall due, necessitating the appointment of administrators.

“The four freehold hotels are trading well and we are confident of finding a buyer.”
With three hotels having closed, there are now just four left operating as part of Llangollen Hotels Ltd.

Administrators have confirmed Bodidris Hall in Llandegla and the Llangollen-based Wild Pheasant Hotel, The Chainbridge Hotel and The Bryn Howel Hotel remain open, continuing to provide 112 jobs.

A spokesman said: “Any bookings and deposits for these hotels intend to be honoured until the hotels are sold.

“No redundancies have been made at the four freehold hotels on appointment.”

The Oswestry branch of the Fun House and the adjoining McLarens wine bar, which have five and 11 employees respectively, are now being operated by the premises’ landlord.

No direct comment has been given by Mrs Booth, who has been away in Spain.

Mrs Booth and her co-directors' other businesses remain unaffected by the collapse of Llangollen Hotels.

They are Transformation (Mail Order) Ltd, Transformation (Retail) Ltd, Mapleleaf Holding Ltd, The Albany Clinic Ltd, Transnet Telecoms Ltd, CDC (Mail Order) Ltd, CDC (Retail) Ltd, Albany Medical Clinic Limited, Specialist Latex Products Ltd and the Global Investment Group Plc and Dee Valley Estates Ltd.

Meanwhile, a businessman has defended Stephanie Booth in the wake of the closure of the five businesses.

Liam Hincks, co-director of H&H Trading, has expressed his belief the colourful Mrs Booth will live up to her phoenix reputation and rise again.

Describing Mrs Booth as an “inspiration and symbol of success”, Mr Hincks said: “Our business was established earlier this year and in this climate is a very daunting task, but it is people like Mrs Booth that inspire businesses like ours to carry on in these hard times.

“Stephanie has hit the bottom many a time in her life, but as I have always believed anyone can run a business but it takes a great person to take it on the chin and start again.

“Stephanie truly is the phoenix of Wrexham, she has risen for deeper ashes in the past and im sure this is not the last we will see of her.

“I wish her and [husband] David all the best in the future."

But such support for Mrs Booth, a former frontrunner in the ongoing takeover saga of Wrexham FC, has not been shared by posters on the Leader Live website.

daisymay wrote: “Thank Heavens that she didn't get her hands on Wrexham FC and The Racecourse.”

adie100965 said: “This is deplorable, good hard working people have lost their jobs, customers have been sorely let down.

“Furthermore, its blemished tourism for our area.”

- Gecko’s Play Cafe on Rhosddu Industrial Estate, which used to be called the Jolly Jungle, is nothing to do with the Fantastic Fun House or Stephanie Booth.
 

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