Taxman hits waterfront restaurant operator with winding up petition
A Plymouth restaurant operator has had a winding up petition served against it by the tax man, but the venue will remain open for business says its owner.
A petition for the winding up of the Glassblowing House Ltd was presented by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs on September 20.
HMRC’s case is due to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice’s Companies Court in London on November 4.
The Glassblowing House restaurant on Plymouth’s Barbican was unveiled in 2009 with former rugby player Edward Steven at the helm.
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Until May this year, The Glassblowing House Ltd operated the restaurant. The majority stakeholder in the former was Mr Steven’s Sutton Harbour-based business OHG (SW) Limited, with FA boss Greg Dyke holding a fifth of the shares.
However earlier this year, the ownership of the assets of The Glassblowing House Ltd were transferred to a company called Barbican Restaurants Ltd, which was registered at Companies House in May.
Mr Steven is listed as its director and majority stakeholder, with Mr Dyke holding a fifth of the shares.
The Glassblowing House Ltd is currently appealing a £59,071.50 compensation order, in the wake of a disability discrimination case brought against it in an employment tribunal by former kitchen porter and father of three, Martin Withers, in April.
According to official documents, the taxman filed an unadvertised petition at Leeds District Registry with an initial hearing date on March 3 this year.
In a written statement yesterday, Mr Steven said that the Glassblowing House Ltd will be voluntarily wound up at a creditors meeting to be held at the Future Inn in Plymouth on October 31, but this would not affect the restaurant operation.
He said: “The Glassblowing House is owned and operated by Barbican Restaurants Ltd and has been since earlier in the year, building on its great reputation and waterside location.
“The Glassblowing House Ltd is being voluntarily wound up – HMRC have confirmed this course of action following their petition and there [sic] advertisement and the meeting at Future Inn is the start of this process.”
Mr Steven said that the voluntary wind up was attributable to the ongoing unfair dismissal appeal.
He said: “This claim is being legally resisted through the courts and if successful, as is hoped, the company that used to own the Glassblowing House will not be wound up.”
He added: “The Glassblowing House continues to trade well and has a fantastic festive period planned.”
Mr Steven, who is currently the managing director of the Sutton Harbour based Ormond Hospitality Group (South West) Ltd, is also behind Crab Quay House, the £500,000 restaurant within the Brixham’s £22 million revamped Fish Market, which opened in August last year.
Crab Quay House is registered as an entirely separate business to The Glassblowing House Ltd.