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Out Of Town Leisure Group Collapse - 350 Jobs Gone

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Meadowhall-Police-fraud-inquiry-as.6425532.jp

NEARLY 100 workers are out of a job and eight food outlets at Meadowhall shopping centre have shut after the collapse of a catering chain.

It follows the collapse of Sheffield based restaurant company Out of Town Leisure Group - with a police investigation into allegations of fraud.

At the shopping centre's Oasis Food Court seven restaurants were closed and an ice cream kiosk was towed away yesterday.

Out of Town Leisure Group, which runs restaurants across the country after launching at Meadowhall in 1999, has been taken into administration.

It was the UK's largest shopping centre catering business, running eight food outlets at Meadowhall and dozens in Newcastle, Manchester, Somerset and Kent.

Some 350 jobs have been lost nationwide, 99 of them at Meadowhall.

Staff were told without warning and will have to apply to the Government for the last fortnight's wages and redundancy pay.

They arrived for work to find the restaurants shuttered with notes announcing "due to unforeseen circumstances" they were closed.

Out of Town Leisure Group is owned by millionaire entrepreneur Lawrence Wosskow, aged 47.

He suffered a heart attack in 2006 and handed over the day-to-day running to managing director James Burdall, who has now resigned.

Burdall has a stake in engineering, leisure, hospitality and networking businesses in Sheffield.

Mr Wosskow moved to Florida in 2007 for his health.

Bradwell's Ice Cream, another Wosskow company controlled by Mr Burdall, will remain open despite suffering heavy losses.

A waitress at French Cafe said: "We are devastated. I have worked here 13 years and they didn't have the decency to give us a warning.

"I have two kids and a mortgage and my husband recently lost his job. I worked until 10pm last night and then came in this morning to be told I wasn't even going to get my last two weeks' wages.

"I have to apply to the Government but it will take six to eight weeks.

"There were rumours circulating last week after Mamma Amalfi closed but they said we would be okay. It was very disrespectful to not tell us. The whole thing stinks."

A barman at the Lounge Bar said: "Mr Wosskow has been around for the last few days - we have all seen him. But he flew back to America without a word."

Out of Town ran Meadowhall outlets French Cafe, Mamma Amalfi, Thyme Tea Garden, the Lounge bar, two outlets of Fresh Sandwich Shop and Potato Bakehouse.

They had the franchise for several Bradwell's Ice Cream kiosks at Meadowhall - whittled down to just one in the last few months, which has now closed.

The company operated outlets in Bluewater in Kent and the Metro Centre, Newcastle. Last year they turned over £12.7m.

Restaurant workers were not told about the closures until Thursday, but surveyors had been seen measuring up the stores for days.

Hours after staff heard they had lost their jobs Meadowhall disclosed they had already lined up new tenants for two of the units.

A spokeswoman said: "TGI Fridays and Wagamama will be opening in the units previously occupied by Mamma Amalfi and The Lounge before the end of the year. A sandwich retailer will also be announced."

Out of Town Restaurants was founded in 1999 by Mr Wosskow, who sold the business for £25m in 2003. He bought it back in 2007 after the group went into administration, renaming it Out of Town Leisure.

Soon afterwards he handed over to Mr Burdall before moving to Florida.

Mr Wosskow was in Sheffield dealing with the breakdown over the last few days, but has returned to the USA to undergo hospital treatment.

Jane Bownes, managing director of Bradwell's Ice Cream, said Mr Wosskow flew to the USA a 'shattered, heartbroken man' after discovering his companies' financial problems, which had cost him 'in excess of £1m'.

She said he pledged to 'do whatever he has to' to keep Bradwell's Ice Cream trading in recognition of its 112-year history.

"This move by Lawrence is typical of the kind, honest person he is and that everyone loves that knows him.

"Today we will pass all the information we have to the police and we fully expect them to carry out a major investigation into activities which have cost so many innocent people so much."

She said files had been removed from the company offices including 'a lot of information' police would need.

Alarm bells first rang in March when Out of Town's Oasis food court restaurants closed temporarily, to reopen five days later under a new name, Fulwood Restaurants.

In May staff were told they had to take three weeks holiday before September because trade was quiet.

Neil Henry, of administrators Lines Henry, said eight subsidiaries of Out of Town Leisure, including Fulwood Restaurants, were in administration. The business hadn't been making money for a while.

Still I'm sure it's contained and the recovery is locked in.

Considering the footfall in Meadowhall it just shows how bad the economy possible is that people aren't eating out whilst shopping, a sign of economising? You would have thought that at least some of these outlets would be viable but it appears sales are down. If this is combined with bad management failure is inevitable.

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Meadowhall-Police-fraud-inquiry-as.6425532.jp

Still I'm sure it's contained and the recovery is locked in.

Considering the footfall in Meadowhall it just shows how bad the economy possible is that people aren't eating out whilst shopping, a sign of economising? You would have thought that at least some of these outlets would be viable but it appears sales are down. If this is combined with bad management failure is inevitable.

It's not necessarily a sign of the business, the investigations are into fraud! Sounds like someone has been a very naught boy.

Expect to see more of this as times get tough. Fraud is on the increase and to share with you:

Report to the Nations 2010

Upper and Executive management account for the largest median loss per incident at $829,000

Directors at $800,000 in second place.

Executive/Upper management accounts for a whopping 13.5% of the cases. Doesn't sound much but how many executive and upper managers are there for each employee! It's pretty grim.

No link to report, sorry. Not sure if I am allowed to distribute.

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Quote

Staff were told without warning and will have to apply to the Government for the last fortnight's wages and redundancy pay.

No problem at all sir do you want cash

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Staff were told without warning and will have to apply to the Government for the last fortnight's wages and redundancy pay.

No problem at all sir do you want cash

Less 40%, adjusted for budget deficit.

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Apart from that, is Meadowhall successful, or have the shoppers tired of it and gone elsewhere?

If the former, someone else will snap up that space, and existing staff should be in with a good chance of something pretty similar to their old jobs. If the latter, this news is neither here nor there.

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It's not necessarily a sign of the business, the investigations are into fraud! Sounds like someone has been a very naught boy.

Expect to see more of this as times get tough. Fraud is on the increase and to share with you:

Report to the Nations 2010

Upper and Executive management account for the largest median loss per incident at $829,000

Directors at $800,000 in second place.

Executive/Upper management accounts for a whopping 13.5% of the cases. Doesn't sound much but how many executive and upper managers are there for each employee! It's pretty grim.

No link to report, sorry. Not sure if I am allowed to distribute.

Frauds like this in Companies tend to come about when things have gone wrong commercially.

Edited by plummet expert

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Guest sillybear2

Out of Town... Out of Business.

Frauds like this in Companies tend to come about when things have gone wrong commercially.

The previous management in one major UK PLC managed to run up and then hide £5 Trillion in off balance sheet loans and liabilites, and that guy got off scot free, one of his accomplices sold his soul to Murdoch in a book and another became a peer, and the former middle-management idiots are now fighting it out to become the next CEO.

Edited by sillybear2

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http://www.thestar.c...y-as.6425532.jp

Still I'm sure it's contained and the recovery is locked in.

Considering the footfall in Meadowhall it just shows how bad the economy possible is that people aren't eating out whilst shopping, a sign of economising? You would have thought that at least some of these outlets would be viable but it appears sales are down. If this is combined with bad management failure is inevitable.

It's the mental image of the ice cream kiosk being towed away that really choked me up. Game over man, game over.

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I've often wondered about the whole "out of town" thing.

They've spend the last 20 years building huge estates on the side of towns. These estates have nothing much in them. They've also built big out of town shopping centers with all the facilities there.

However, You need a car to get from one to the other. You need a job/disposable income to run a car.

With the cost of petrol going through the roof and austerity kicking in...these people could be stranded on these estates.

The Glasgow housing estates, like Easterhouse, suffer/suffered from this problem for years. No facilities, no cars, no money, nothing to do. The estates feel into dis-repair and were a breading ground for trouble.

Take the newer estates with the 20% affordable houses in them and you really have got a recipe for disaster. The have nots living next door to the haves.

I'd give these estates a body serve and buy somewhere you can walk to some shops and have some decent public transport like a train station.

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Out of Town... Out of Business.

The previous management in one major UK PLC managed to run up and then hide £5 Trillion in off balance sheet loans and liabilites, and that guy got off scot free, one of his accomplices sold his soul to Murdoch in a book and another became a peer, and the former middle-management idiots are now fighting it out to become the next CEO.

Not forgetting the bursar on the who will walk away with £5m pension pot and millions in wages for keeping the pot boiling.

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Hey, look on the bright side.

All those closures mean less pressure on the NHS.

Big drop in food poisoning, less need for stomach-pumping and picking glass out of drunks.

We could even sack a few nurses :)

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I've often wondered about the whole "out of town" thing.

....

I'd give these estates a body serve and buy somewhere you can walk to some shops and have some decent public transport like a train station.

Before Meadowhall was built Sheffield had a thriving city centre shopping scene (it's recovered a bit, but still not up to pre meadowhell standard). It is at the centre of good rail, tram and bus networks to. I'm unsure as to the medium term viability of Meadowhall though, I don't think the area conurbation has room for 2 big shopping areas going forward, and I think Sheff town centre has much better prospects than a giant greenhouse/carpark on a floodplain.

(edit for clarity)

Edited by newbonic

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But Bury has

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-10658020

Retailers at Bury's new £350m shopping centre, The Rock, have opened their doors for the first time.

The scheme by developer, Hammerson, has transformed the town centre, creating three new department stores, 60 shops a cinema, bowling alley and 400 flats.

Anchored by Marks and Spencer and Debenhams the development is estimated to have created 500 new jobs.

""We will bring millions more people into the town who currently shop elsewhere."

Unlikely imo. Unless you count the silly people who go on trips to shopping centres (My mum's work organises days out to such exciting places at the Trafford Centre etc)

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Before Meadowhall was built Sheffield had a thriving city centre shopping scene (it's recovered a bit, but still not up to pre meadowhell standard). It is at the centre of good rail, tram and bus networks to. I'm unsure as to the medium term viability of Meadowhall though, I don't think the area conurbation has room for 2 big shopping areas going forward, and I think Sheff town centre has much better prospects than a giant greenhouse/carpark on a floodplain.

(edit for clarity)

Hehe. When I lived in Sheffield, I went past Meadowhall on the train quite a few times, but only ever went in there out of curiosity. As I recollect it, looked like just another version of what my parents had called an Arndale centre in my youth: place we'd occasionally be dragged for big-chore clothes shopping (things like school uniforms), 'cos all those places line M&S, Debenhams, C&A were clustered around. Ugh!

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But Bury has

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-10658020

Retailers at Bury's new £350m shopping centre, The Rock, have opened their doors for the first time.

The scheme by developer, Hammerson, has transformed the town centre, creating three new department stores, 60 shops a cinema, bowling alley and 400 flats.

Anchored by Marks and Spencer and Debenhams the development is estimated to have created 500 new jobs.

""We will bring millions more people into the town who currently shop elsewhere."

Unlikely imo. Unless you count the silly people who go on trips to shopping centres (My mum's work organises days out to such exciting places at the Trafford Centre etc)

Surely no bad thing if it's the centre of a big town, and so naturally convenient for a lot of people without making them car-dependent?

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I find it sad when anyone loses their job.......but in my own option I find visiting these large out of town shopping centres a very stressful experience...both driving there, parking there, and shopping there, nothing nice about them at all, try to avoid them like the plague.

Anyway most things can be ordered and bought on-line the biggest shopping centre that I know with the best choice and you only buy what you need no temptation impulse buys, anything can be bought from the comfort of your own home. ;)

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Out of Town... Out of Business.

The previous management in one major UK PLC managed to run up and then hide £5 Trillion in off balance sheet loans and liabilites, and that guy got off scot free, one of his accomplices sold his soul to Murdoch in a book and another became a peer, and the former middle-management idiots are now fighting it out to become the next CEO.

central banker material

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I've often wondered about the whole "out of town" thing.

They've spend the last 20 years building huge estates on the side of towns. These estates have nothing much in them. They've also built big out of town shopping centers with all the facilities there.

However, You need a car to get from one to the other. You need a job/disposable income to run a car.

I'd give these estates a body serve and buy somewhere you can walk to some shops and have some decent public transport like a train station.

So kinda inner city with all the immigrants were no one wants to live?

Before Meadowhall was built Sheffield had a thriving city centre shopping scene (it's recovered a bit, but still not up to pre meadowhell standard). It is at the centre of good rail, tram and bus networks to. I'm unsure as to the medium term viability of Meadowhall though, I don't think the area conurbation has room for 2 big shopping areas going forward, and I think Sheff town centre has much better prospects than a giant greenhouse/carpark on a floodplain.

(edit for clarity)

Yeah, 5 years before. It wasnt Meadowhall that killed Sheffield city centre, it was the council with sky high parking charges and rates on shops.

Meadowhall filled a need for an under cover shopping experience with free parking away from the scum.

Sheffield centre is now 40% immigrants, 30% old bag people and 30% students. None of whom have any money to fund a "thriving shopping scene" as you put it.

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I find it sad when anyone loses their job.......but in my own option I find visiting these large out of town shopping centres a very stressful experience...both driving there, parking there, and shopping there, nothing nice about them at all, try to avoid them like the plague.

Anyway most things can be ordered and bought on-line the biggest shopping centre that I know with the best choice and you only buy what you need no temptation impulse buys, anything can be bought from the comfort of your own home. ;)

You should visit Westfields it's huge, makes the Bullring look like a market stall.

Commercial hubris? impressive definitely..

Oh yes take the ant fainting pills first

Edited by Zngland

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Anyway most things can be ordered and bought on-line the biggest shopping centre that I know with the best choice and you only buy what you need no temptation impulse buys, anything can be bought from the comfort of your own home. ;)

And here we have the reason shopping centers are going bust.

I live in Luton. The big shopping center in town is inhabited almost entirely by people living on benefits.

Few people are speaking English, even fewer are buying anything substantial.

Between the open pickpocketing and shoplifting there is probably more theft than purchasing.

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You should visit Westfields it's huge, makes the Bullring look like a market stall.

Commercial hubris? impressive definitely..

Oh yes take the ant fainting pills first

Will give it a miss.

And here we have the reason shopping centers are going bust.

I live in Luton. The big shopping center in town is inhabited almost entirely by people living on benefits.

Few people are speaking English, even fewer are buying anything substantial.

Between the open pickpocketing and shoplifting there is probably more theft than purchasing.

Sounds awful...think I have a headache coming on. ;)

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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