IT was supposed to be the day of their dreams, but a Hampshire couple’s wedding day was left in tatters after the multi-million-pound venue chosen for their reception went into administration.
Debbie James and dock worker Matt Cain, 26, were devastated when their reception at the Eastpoint Centre in Thornhill was cancelled only four days before the big day.
Since the Daily Echo reported the financial crisis last week, negotiations have been ongoing in the hope of selling the centre as a going concern – safeguarding the jobs and the centre as an asset for the community.
But those talks have now failed and the decision has been taken to close the centre, which was home to multiple community groups, for good.
Debbie, 22, had set her heart on the venue after spending a week training there for her job as a care assistant, and was planning to party with her new husband and 200 family and friends.
The couple, who will marry at St Mary’s Church in Sholing this weekend, had paid a £100 deposit last August. But the bride was left in tears when she was told on Tuesday afternoon that it could not go ahead after administrators confirmed that they were closing the centre.
Debbie, from Botany Bay Road, Sholing, said: “I was crying my eyes out yesterday and I’ve had to phone everyone, but my family have been brilliant.
“We had our hearts set on having the reception there but it’s not to be.
"Everything happens for a reason and we have been lucky because we have managed to find a new venue right at the last minute – so the party will go on.”
Last night a spokesman for administrators Baker Tilly said: “In recent weeks, the company and its professional advisers have held discussions with a wide range of stakeholders and third parties with a view to achieving a sale of the business as a going concern.
“Unfortunately, the interest received has been in respect of a sale of assets only, and no parties have sought to acquire the business as a going concern.”
He said that as the business is forecast to run at a loss, it is not financially viable to keep it open while in administration.
He added: “The Eastpoint Centre is now closed and has ceased to trade.”
It is understood staff have been called to a meeting today to inform them of the situation.
The Daily Echo understands that some workers are owed money in overtime while a handful of staff are being kept on to help facilitate any potential sale.
- Additional reporting by Rebecca Pearson