Businessman ‘£200,000 out of pocket’ after collapse of firm building £7.5million Sunderland hotel

New Premier Inn, situated St. Michaels Way, Sunderland City Centre
New Premier Inn, situated St. Michaels Way, Sunderland City Centre
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A CITY businessman says he is resigned to losing out on tens of thousands of pounds he is owed after the collapse of the firm building Sunderland’s new £7.5million Premier Inn

Work on the development at the bottom of Chester Road ground to a halt in March after GB Building Solutions and parent company GB Group Holdings called in administrators.

Steve Lynn of SJL Brickworks, BIC, Southwick, Sunderland, who is owed �1000's afer the collapse of the firm building the Premier Inn in Sunderland City Centre

Steve Lynn of SJL Brickworks, BIC, Southwick, Sunderland, who is owed �1000's afer the collapse of the firm building the Premier Inn in Sunderland City Centre

A report into the companies’ finances has been prepared and is being sent to creditors – including businessman Steve Lynn.

Steve, who runs North East Business and Innovation Centre-based SJL Brickwork, says he is owed £200,000 for work on the Hind Street site and another project in Newcastle.

He has been invited to bid for work to finish the development but is still waiting to learn whether he will get any of the money he is owed.

“I have been told the bank owns it now and I have been invited to go back and price up for the opportunity to finish the work off,” he said.

I think there will be lots of people waiting for payment and I will be way down at the bottom of the list.

SJL Brickwork boss Steve Lynn

“But nothing has been agreed and nothing has been said about the work I have already done.

“I can’t get that back.”

He is pessimistic about the chances of seeing the money he is owed for work already done.

“I am not very hopeful,” he admitted.

“I think there will be lots of people waiting for payment and I will be way down at the bottom of the list.”

Steve, who had 10 workers on site, had completed the original contract, but was asked to take on more work on the outside of the hotel and the listed former Gas Board building, which is also being restored as part of the project.

Although he has managed to keep the business’s head above water, it has been a trying couple of months. “It has been very difficult,” he said.

“It is like starting the business all over again.”

He believes the development could be ready within a couple of months once work restarts.

“For me, there is about two weeks’ work, then for ground works probably three or four weeks. All in all, I would say the jobs would take about six weeks or so.”

Property investment management specialist Cordea Savills is overseeing the development on behalf of a pension fund.

A spokeswoman said: “Our client owns the site and has been funding the development since October 2013.

“We are very disappointed that the developer and contractor have failed but we maintain a very good working relationship with the Premier Inn team and are committed to finishing off the development to allow them to open for trade as soon as possible.”