The administration period for the company which bought two of the Cliftonville Lido sites, has been extended for yet another two years – with administrators taking the option to put the Lido on the market.
Stour Side Developments bought property including the Lido in 2014, the Kings Hall in Ramsgate and land at All Saints Industrial estate.
Administrators Duff & Phelps were brought in during July 2017 after concerns over business irregularities were highlighted.
In their latest progress report (August 2021) the administrators say: “(We) have consequently been considering and exploring the options available to the company to enhance the value of the Lido 1 and Lido 2 properties in order to maximise realisations.
“It has been determined that a sale of Lido 1 and Lido 2 properties together with Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure Centre as a collective development opportunity would enhance their value as compared to piecemeal sales.
“The Joint Administrators have reached an agreement with the owners of Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure Centre and are currently marketing these properties for sale.”
The Joint Administrators also obtained from Court a further two-year extension to the term of the Administration which will now come to an end on 11 July 2023.
The report adds: “ The Joint Administrators contacted the owners of Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure being Lido Views and Lido Streetview respectively. Following discussions, the Joint Administrators reached an agreement and entered into an option agreement on 17 June 2021 which, in consideration of the Company paying £25,000 (which it has paid), grants the Company an exclusive option to purchase the Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure Centre from Lido Views and Lido Streetview respectively for a set amount.
“The term of the agreement is 2 years, expiring on 16 June 2023. It was also agreed with Lido Streetview and Lido Views that, during the period of the option agreement, they be granted leases over both Lido 1 and Lido 2.
“As a consequence of entering the option agreement, the Joint Administrators are able to market for sale Lido 1 and Lido 2 properties together with Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure Centre as a collective development opportunity.”
BroadSearch has been instructed to market the properties for sale and the administrators say there has been interest.
Today (November 2) part of the site is being cleared after the surface collapsed yesterday at the area closest to the sea facing wall along from the Cliff Bar building.
Stour Side Developments was owned by Russian businessman Alexander Andreev who acquired 100% of the share capital in the company in 2010 and was appointed its sole director. In 2014, Paul Eley was appointed as its second director.
That same year the company secured $750,000 in new loan capital from Singaporean Investors and together with Stour Side Investments (a connected party at the time) bought a business and assets in Torquay for circa £200,000. Due to sustained losses, trade ceased sometime in late 2015, early 2016.
In 2014, the company (Stour Side Developments and Stour Side Investments) acquired two plots at the Lido, including the car park, for £699,999. The purpose of the buy was to develop residential apartments or re-sell after having secured planning permission but no progress was ever made.
The third Lido site, of the snooker club, was bought by Lido Streetview Limited – run by long-time Lido manager Neville Borck and Martyn Buckley – for £100,000 in February 2017. Mr Borck is also a director of Lido Views.
Andreev and Eley mooted a sealife proposal for the site but this never came to fruition. An attempt to sell at auction also fell flat with the property being withdrawn.
In 2015 and early 2016, the company received additional cash from Evgueni Dogot and SIR Investments (a further connected company).
In 2017 Evgueni Dogot became sole director after the resignation of others including Andreev and Eley.
After discussions over concerns regarding transactions that were entered into by the company before Mr Dogot was in place it was concluded that it was unable to pay its debts and was insolvent.
Duff & Phelps were brought in as administrators with Stour Side Developments owing debts of £1,337,623. The aim has been to rescue the site as a going concern.
Full and final settlement has now been made regarding the Company’s claim over Lido site 1, The Rainbow Funhouse, King’s Theatre & All Saints Industrial Estate as well as an intercompany debt due from SSI in November 2020.
Part of the Lido site was being cleared last year by a group of six friends, led by Kent Underground explorer Lynton Owen. They worked on clearance of the cavernous rooms, tunnels and spaces that run under the Ethelbert Terrace site.
Margate resident Lynton, 34, set up the Save The Margate Lido limited company and the aim is to convert to Community Interest Company status to access funding and attract investors to help restore the Lido and baths to their former glory.
Laser mapping of the area has been completed by Thanet council and the authority secured £44,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund for a feasibility study.
The site includes the Grade II listed Clifton Baths which were constructed between 1824 and 1828, making them one of the earliest surviving seawater bathing establishments in the country.
The baths are also unique in being dug out of the cliffs. From 1926 onwards the site was re-modelled under Dreamland owner John Henry Iles, who helped its transformation into a modern seaside complex with bars, cafes and restaurants on multiple levels and an open air swimming pool projecting into the sea.
It was finally closed to the public in the 1980s and has since suffered years of neglect. The Ethelbert Terrace complex also includes The Lido bar and snooker hall, owned and managed by Mr Borck.
The administrators say future startegy includes progressing with the marketing and subsequent sale of the Lido properties, to include exercising the option over Lido 3 and the Lido Pleasure Centre.