Lincoln Theatre Royal building sold off for £125,000
The historic building which houses Lincoln Theatre Royal has been sold by the City of Lincoln Council.
The 119-year-old building in Clasketgate has been bought by a new firm called LTR Trading Ltd.
It is believed the company, which was incorporated by an accountant called Jean Deborah Van Biene and is registered to an address in West Sussex, paid in the region of £125,000 for the freehold.
As reported in last week's Echo, LTR Trading has also bought the assets of a company called Lincoln Theatre Ltd.
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Lincoln Theatre Ltd ran the theatre before it went into administration last month.
The sale means LTR Trading now owns both the leasehold and freehold of the Lincoln venue.
The pair together is understood to have been valued at a minimum of £600,000.
Spokesperson for LTR Trading, Daniel Boyall said: "I can confirm that it is our intention to continue with the theatre long-term.
"However, the only way we can achieve this is with the continued support of the local community to make sure people keep coming to see our shows which we sincerely hope will be the case."
This week it has emerged that Lincoln Theatre Limited, which lists its directors as Ian Dickens and Ian Marston, still owes money to 18 creditors.
Mr Dickens estimates that its total debt comes to around £70,000.
The pair were also directors of a separate holding company called Lincoln Theatre (Holdings) Ltd.
This is in administration, too. A report by business recovery experts Marshman Price claims it owes almost £600,000 to four people.
However Mr Dickens – who is also artistic director for the new firm LTR Trading Ltd – disputes this amount.
He told the Echo: "Lincoln Theatre Limited has 18 creditors and owes a total of about £70,000.
"I strongly disagree that Lincoln Theatre (Holdings) owes £600,000. It says £600,000 on paper to two different creditors and four people.
"But £325,000 of that is in interest and that is an extremely high amount of interest which we will dispute in court."
According to administrator Gary Petitt, of Marshman Price, Hilary and Michael Bairstow are owed £398,384.
The same report says John Male and James White are owed £200,000.
Asked whether he thought it was appropriate for him to be heavily involved in the running of LTR Trading after seeing previous companies Lincoln Theatre Limited and Lincoln Theatre Holdings fail, Mr Dickens said: "It is absolutely appropriate.
"Myself and Ian Marston (technical director at LTR Trading) have been the driving force behind the theatre in Lincoln.
"We talk about creditors but I am probably the biggest creditor of all."
Asked whether he and Ian Marston were shareholders in LTR Trading Limited, Mr Dickens replied: "Not at the moment.
"But we will see how it goes."