Heritage charity Vivat Trust enters into liquidation with loss of up to 23 jobs

25 Aug 2015 News

Heritage charity Vivat Trust has gone into liquidation owing £1.3m with the potential loss of 23 jobs, according to documents filed with Companies House on Friday.

North Lees Hall, Derbyshire, owned by the Vivat Trust.

Heritage charity, Vivat Trust, has gone into liquidation owing £1.3m with the potential loss of 23 jobs, according to documents filed with Companies House on Friday.

The charity which offered holiday lets in historic buildings, announced its closure on its website last month, with insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor instructed to place the Vivat Trust Limited and Vivat Management Services Limited into Liquidation.

Accounts filed with the Charity Commission show the organisation had 23 full-time equivalent employees in the year to March 2014. 

Accounts also show that last year, the charity had an income of £1.5m with an annual spend of just £698,567. But in the two previous years it spent significantly more than it earned.

In the year ending March 2013 it spent £339,000 more than it earned, while in the year ending 2012 is spent £711,000 more than it earned.

The Trust’s latest annual report said that the charity faced unspecified “major risks” in the year ending March 2014 - but said the trustees had “reviewed” the risks and established procedures to manage them.

The report also noted that the charity’s trustees did not have a “formal reserves policy” although it said the policy was “under consideration” when the report was published.

The charity’s liquidation documents reveal a surplus of £226,570 and a property surplus of £1.7m, meaning that it will likely repay its creditors in full once the full property portfolio is sold. Creditors include the Country Houses Foundation, owed £415,000, Balfour Beatty, owed £118,000 and Historic England, owed £75,000.

The Vivat Trust was established in 1981 with objectives to “secure for the benefit of the public at large, the preservation, restoration, improvement, enhancement and maintenance of buildings, sites, features and objects of historical, architectural and industrial interest”.

It was based in Peterchurch, Herefordshire, and managed 15 properties around the UK, including Hadlow Tower in Kent, Kinghorn Town Hall in Fife, Scotland and North Lees Hall in Hathersage, Derbyshire (pictured).

The Vivat Trust and Begbies Traynor were contacted by Civil Society News for comment but did not respond by the time of going to press.

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