Calls for ‘urgent inquiry’ into Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion sale

Front  councillor Geoff Holdcroft (left) with NRG Theatres chief executive, Ray Anderson, watched

Front councillor Geoff Holdcroft (left) with NRG Theatres chief executive, Ray Anderson, watched by (back left to right) with NRG Theatres' artist director, Vince Rayner, councillor Andy Smith and Suffolk Coastals leader, Ray Herring. Photo: Paul Nixon - Credit: Archant

Further questions marks have today been raised over the £1 sale of a council-owned Suffolk theatre after it emerged the firm behind the deal has been rated as financially “high risk” by an international credit rating agency.

Suffolk Coastal District Council finalised the sale of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion to NRG Theatres Ltd last month in a controversial deal that has been criticised for its apparent secrecy and alleged failures to carry out due diligence on the new owners.

Senior councillors involved in the negotiations insist NRG’s offer was the best presented throughout a two-year marketing campaign, while highlighting the £250,000 annual savings made to the taxpayer in removed subsidies.

Meanwhile, NRG director Ray Anderson has pledged to transform the iconic seaside attraction into a “community asset” attracting “bigger names” to the coastal town, with an investment package of at least £100,000,

However, fresh concerns have today been raised by a senior councillor about the deal after our two-part investigation found the company has been flagged as a credit risk by analysts at information service company Experian.

Follow the link for part one of our investigation ...