AINSCOW HOTEL
The Ainscow Hotel is open as normal despite the administration. Credit: via Spreckley/Kroll

Artisan companies enter administration

Neil Tague

Kroll Advisory has been appointed as administrator of four subsidiaries of the Manchester development group, with the ongoing fall-out of the Grenfell disaster named as a contributing factor.

Artisan H1 Ltd, The Ainscow Hotel Ltd, Greyday LLP, and Artisan Group Facilities Management Ltd have all entered administration, each being vehicles connected to the company founded by the late Carol Ainscow, who died in 2013.

The four companies hold a number of assets throughout Manchester, said the firm, including a former mill that has potential for redevelopment and several completed apartment buildings.

The Ainscow, in Salford, employs 30 people and is being traded by the administrators as a going concern, with all bookings being honoured.

The administration of the four companies follows Kroll’s appointment in June to Artisan H (Kings Waterfront) Ltd, the vehicle that owns The Block development in that area.

The site’s two apartment buildings had been impacted by the December 2017 fire at the Kings Waterfront multi-storey car park. Subsequent remedial works to The Block and matters relating to insurance claims have, said joint administrator Andrew Knowles, “placed substantial pressure on the group, and The Block is still not fit for occupation with significant remedial works remaining”.

Knowles added: “The group has also been impacted by the industry ramifications from the Grenfell Tower disaster, with several residential buildings owned by the group incorporating cladding to the facades. This has reduced the ability of the group to sell apartments, as is the case for third-party leaseholders within the same buildings.”

With regard to the residential developments, the joint administrators are expected to progress with a  divestment exercise by selling the respective assets.

This will be a staged process with the initial focus on the buildings and apartments not impacted by cladding, and continued work with managing agents and professional consultants to resolve those buildings which are impacted.

In respect of The Block, the joint administrators are working with relevant stakeholders in the hope that the remedial works can be completed.

According to Companies House, there are still several active Artisan businesses, although there have been flurries of activity around incoming and departing directors and notices of various Government actions.

Moya Ball, sister of the late Ainscow, has been the figurehead of Artisan in recent years, and is or has been listed as a director of each of the firms entering administration.

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What a sad end to what was once a great development company :(

By Paul Edwards

Very sad to see the demise of a good business – seemingly through absolutely no fault of their own.

By David Sleath