Hampshire wedding venue goes into administration - leaving guests thousands of pounds out of pocket
THE COMPANY owning a multimillion-pound wedding venue has gone into administration - with a bride finding out on the last day of her hen do that her wedding was potentially ruined.
Coldeast Mansion Ltd, the company that owns Coldeast Mansion, in Coldeast Drive, Sarisbury Green, went into administration at the end of October.
The situation at the mansion, which provides a venue for weddings and serviced apartment, has left scores of guests thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Samantha Rogers was enjoying the last day of her hen-do with friends in Newcastle on Monday October 28, when she was contacted by a representative from the venue to say that the wedding could no longer go ahead at Coldeast.
Her finance, Mark Thomson, a former captain in the Royal Artillery Corps, said the couple faced the 'embarrassing' task of telling friends and family they may not get back the deposits they had paid to stay at 19th century country house.
The 34-year-old said: 'We booked the wedding two years ago - we were amongst the first people to book the venue.
‘Sam loved the place and was really looking forward to it.’
But now more than 60 loved-ones are facing losing the money they paid for apartments on site.
Mark said: 'It's embarrassing to tell our aunts and uncles they might not get their money back.'
The couple paid more than £3,000 as a deposit to catering firm Wise Catering, which said it was unable to refund the deposit as more than half of it had been paid to Coldeast Mansion Ltd, owned by property developer Nick Sutton.
In an email seen by The News, administrators CG&Co told Mr Thomson his guests’ payments had gone from Coldeast Mansion Ltd to another company, Coldeast Inntelligence Ltd, which has Nick Sutton as a director.
According to Sarisbury councillor Sean Woodward, Mr Sutton and his business had spent millions refurbishing the mansion, which fell into ruin after it was closed as a hospital for people with learning disabilities in 1996.
But a new owner could already have been found for the site, Cllr Woodward said.
The Fareham Borough Council leader said: 'The last I heard they were contacting potential buyers and had found someone interested in taking on the property.
‘The previous owners did all the work on it, spending millions to bring it up to a good standard.
‘I know the apartments were very popular.
‘I’m sure there is a very good business to be run at the site, hopefully the new owners will run a thriving business once they are there.’
Mark and Samantha have rearranged their wedding to take place in Winchester in December - and they are working to make a claim with their wedding insurance provider.
But the veteran remains 'angry' about the way the couple have been treated.
He said: 'It’s not acceptable to take people’s money and not provide a service.'
Mr Sutton was approached by The News but was unavailable for comment.