Chesterfield Hotel could become ‘bona vacantia’

Chesterfield Hotel.
Chesterfield Hotel.
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Chesterfield Hotel – which has been shut for almost a year – could eventually become property of the Crown, the Derbyshire Times has learned.

Companies House has written to the firm which operated the former hotel, GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd, warning it could be struck off and dissolved after it failed to file its accounts on time.

GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd has remained an active company since the well-known hotel closed on January 31, 2015, after nearly 140 years.

A letter sent to the firm’s directors by Companies House states: “Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia and accordingly will belong to the Crown.”

A Government spokesman said: “‘Bona vacantia’ means vacant goods and is the name given to ownerless property, which by law passes to the Crown.

“The Treasury solicitor acts for the Crown to administer the estates of people who die without a will and without known blood relatives and collect the assets of dissolved companies and other various ownerless goods in England and Wales.”

Within the last week, however, Companies House has received an objection to the proposal to strike off and dissolve the company – meaning action has been temporarily suspended but could still go ahead in the future.

According to Companies House, such an objection may be made if some form of action is being taken, or is pending, to recover any money owed.

Forty-five members of staff lost their jobs when Chesterfield Hotel shut and workers are currently going through the employment tribunal process over alleged unpaid wages and redundancy payouts.

The Derbyshire Times asked a representative of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd to comment on the future of the prominent Malkin Street building but didn’t receive a response.

Chesterfield Hotel opened in 1877 and was a major employer and social venue in the town over the years.

When it closed, town leaders and residents expressed their sadness at the demise of the much-loved institution which was one of Chesterfield’s longest-running businesses.

The exact reason for Chesterfield Hotel’s closure has never been revealed – but the town’s MP Toby Perkins held urgent talks with representatives from the business to discuss various financial problems before it shut.

The abandoned building is currently under constant security surveillance and boards cover a number of ground-floor windows which have been smashed by vandals.