Council has no plans to buy back historic former offices after collapse of weddings business

Kelham Hall, the former offices of Newark and Sherwood District Council.

By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter


Newark and Sherwood District Council has no plans to buy back iconic Kelham Hall after the Grade I listed building was forced to close its doors.

Kelham Hall near Newark was previously the offices for the district council before they moved to a purpose-built site next to the railway station.

The Victorian property, designed by celebrated architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, was sold to developer Jonathan Pass in 2017 for £4m.

The building and 52-acres of parkland was being booked for weddings and conferences before Mr Pass’ company went into liquidation earlier this year.

Couples who had their weddings planned at the venue have been left in limbo as a privately-owned commercial finance company has taken control of the hall’s financial affairs.

The deputy leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Cllr Keith Girling (Cons) said he understood enquiries had been made about buying the hall, but no deal had been struck.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It is really sad when a business fails.  But I can’t imagine it will be something we take on. What would we do with it?

“We did the right thing moving from there. I joined the council when it was happening. The reality is we saved a lot of money from not being there.

“It will be on the open market. I do not think it is a dead duck. My understanding is there are companies looking at it.

“But I am worried because you don’t want to see an iconic building not used and occupied. We are monitoring it as a Grade I listed building.”

Cllr Girling, who is also the chairman of the economic development committee, said there are number of options that would suit the site.

“I think it suits itself to being a hotel because it has the rooms and catering facility. It could be a spa. There are lots of things it could be, and the grounds are beautiful.

“It all boils down to commercial viability.”

The LDRS contacted  A Shade Greener Finance Ltd which has taken control of the financial affairs of Kelham Hall to find out its next move,

No one was available for comment.

The Kelham Hall website has a note on the home page reading:

“Please be advised that Kelham Hall Limited ceased trading on Wednesday 23 June as a result of the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The mortgagee has now taken possession of the property and the campsite and fishing pegs are closed.

“We are extremely sorry that we are unable to continue with your booking. Insolvency practitioners have been appointed to place the company into liquidation and they will be in contact with all creditors in due course.”

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