THE company which owns an Aberystwyth seafront hotel has gone into liquidation with six figure debts, but the hotel owner says it will stay open with jobs protected after a new company was formed in its wake.
GwestyAberystwyth Ltd – the company formed in September 2020 by Julian Shelley when he bought the Gwesty Cymru hotel on Aberystwyth seafront – appointed a liquidator in September with debts of more than £123,000, according to documents from Companies House.
Mr Shelley, who also runs Cardigan and Celtic Bay guest houses on the promenade, himself bought Gwesty Cymru out of liquidation after the-then owners of the hotel - a seafront staple since 2007 – brought in liquidators over more than £100,000 of debts in July 2020.
Debts for GwestyAberystwyth Ltd include more than £25,000 to HMRC for PAYE, corporation tax and VAT.
Outstanding energy and utility bills are owed totalling nearly £30,000, with Dŵr Cymru owed £1,500, and Ceredigion County Council owed £870.
Elavon, a credit card services provider, is owed more than £7,000, while Telford Laundry Ltd are owed £6,800.
Pembrokeshire-based Dole Foodservice, which provides fruit and vegetables, is owed £876.26.
Meanwhile, toiletry company Duck Island is owed £296.21.
Mr Shelley, both individually and through his other hotels, is listed as a creditor to the tune of more than £47,000.
Capel Bangor-based Clarach Bay Services is the only local creditor listed, with a debt of £588.67.
Mr Shelley, who blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the financial woes, told the Cambrian News that Clarach Bay Services will be paid personally by him “as a goodwill gesture,” but it is not clear as to how the remaining debts of the now-defunct company will be paid.
As the financial situation worsened at the hotel, Mr Shelley launched a new company – West Wales Hotels Ltd – in June, three months before liquidators were brought in.
Mr Shelley said he had been able to buy the Gwesty Cymru name from the liquidators, and that the move to create a new company would “preserve 10 plus jobs and provide a future for the iconic hotel.”
He said it was a “perfectly legal process.”
“It was one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make,” Mr Shelley told the Cambrian News.
“Covid hit the hospitality industry very badly.
“We are aware that Gwesty Cymru has a viable future and we were determined to ensure no jobs were lost.
“All staff were paid up to date and although as a director I appear on the creditor list I will not be accepting any payments through the liquidation process.”