Montrose caravan park in administration

South Links Holiday park is a great family venue
South Links Holiday park is a great family venue

The operators of South Links Holiday Park are in administration. The popular facility is now being run by administrators.

Since 2009 South Links was operated by WOW Leisure. This came about through a ground-breaking deal by which the owners and former operators, Angus Council, leased the site to WOW.

Now, however, Angus Council say the lease has been terminated because certain payments had not been made to them.

Local businessman Bill McDonald is the man behind WOW Leisure, and has spent a significant amount of money since then creating major improvements to the site.

Recently, the site was granted permission to operate all year round, instead of closing during February.

Councillor David May told us: “I was able to tell the residents that although the council remains the landlord, the site and the business is now operated by the administrators on the instruction of a court.”

Angus Council issued a statement: “The administrators will run the business while assessing its operations and determining what assets can be recovered.

“The council is not taking any immediate action in relation to the operation of the site. Caravan owners will be notified of the current situation and how it may affect them in due course.”

On behalf of Mr McDonald, Whelan & Co,Solicitors, issued a statement, extracts of which follow: “Several years ago, Wow Leisure Limited entered into a lease with Angus Council to occupy the South Links Holiday Park, with the intention of investing substantial sums.

Shortly after signing the lease, Wow Leisure Ltd was approached by Angus Council who advised that Glaxo Smith Kline were interested in substantial investment in their facility in Montrose. The multi million pound investment would create several 100 new jobs. This proposal would require Wow Leisure Limited to surrender the site occupied by the caravan site.

In anticipation of this, Wow Leisure Limited was required to significantly curtail its trading activities. Angus Council agreed to compensate the company for the significant financial impact, and as a partial acknowledgment they agreed to waive rent due during the period of discussions they had with GSK. Angus Council also provided the company with financial assistance by way of an unsecured loan during this period.

Subsequently, for reasons that have never been properly explained, GSK did not proceed.

Lengthy discussions and legal proceedings commenced. I had thought that agreement had been reached whereby the sums due to Angus Council would be repaid by the company over a reasonable period of time, and in return I would personally guarantee the sums due to Angus Council to secure repayment. I personally invested a six figure sum into the company in an effort to resolve matters. Two days before the matter was to be heard at Forfar Sheriff Court, Angus Council applied to the Court of Session to appoint an administrator. This was not intimated to either me or my legal team.

I believe I have done everything possible to assist Angus Council with the proposed multi million pound investments by GSK. When this was cancelled, I believe that I made reasonable proposals to ensure that tax payer’s money would be repaid over a reasonable time. As a result of their decision to appoint an administrator, I have been advised there will be little, if any, chance of Angus Council recovering sums towards the repayment to them of the Company’s indebtedness to them.”