Administrators look to iron out Metalworks sale 

The stalled 319-home scheme on Liverpool’s Leeds Street is to be sold after its developer collapsed owing around £7m to creditors. 

As part of the administration proceedings, agency CBRE has been appointed to sell the Metalworks site in Vauxhall. 

Lender MoneyThing, itself in administration, is the company’s sole qualifying floating charge holder and is owed £3m by Metalworks developer Pumpfields Regeneration. It appointed administrators Smith & Williamson to take over the running of  Pumpfields in March.

MoneyThing lent the developer £2.5m in 2017 for the Metalworks project but Pumpfields has since defaulted on the loan, according to Smith & Williamson.

The developer, whose sole director is listed on Companies House as Daniel Johnson, also received nearly £4m from investors for the pre-sale of around 100 apartments at Metalworks, the administrators said. 

Smith & Williamson is investigating how these funds were used. 

Johnson has estimated that the sale of the site could realise around £2m, around £3m less than the most recent valuation of the site in 2019, but the administrators said it is “unlikely” unsecured creditors will receive a dividend. 

Earlier this year, Johnson informed MoneyThing that Pumpfields Regeneration was insolvent and that he intended to place the company into administration and buy the site as part of a pre-pack agreement, according to Smith & Williamson. However, this never materialised and MoneyThing subsequently instructed administrators to intervene. 

Pumpfields secured planning permission in August 2018 for the project, updating a consent granted for a previous Blok Architecture-designed scheme in February 2017.  However, the scheme’s progress stalled over site acquisition and Section 106 negotiations. 

In 2019, Goodwin’s Construction Services was appointed as lead contractor for the project but work never started on site and Goodwin’s collapsed into administration last November.

“The [Metalworks] development has remained stalled for a number of years leading to uncertainty about the planning permission position and other unresolved issues,” the administrators said. 

Smith & Williamson is working with Liverpool City Council to ascertain the status of the planning permission for Metalworks.

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