Acclaimed Leeds social enterprise Create is down and out

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Troubled social enterprise Create is on the verge of going out of business, the Yorkshire Evening Post can reveal.

The training company’s directors have instructed insolvency experts IPD to help them put Create into voluntary liquidation.

IPD’s Martin Williamson today told the YEP that the firm had simply “run out of money”. A creditors’ meeting will take place at the start of next month.

Once the meeting and the other nuts and bolts of liquidation are completed, Create will effectively cease to exist.

The firm’s former restaurant on King Street in Leeds city centre has already been handed back to its landlord. Mr Williamson said an unnamed party had expressed an interest in taking over Create’s cafe in Wakefield city centre.

Create was set up in 2007 to provide disadvantaged people with work and training opportunities in the food industry.

Praised by Prime Minister David Cameron, it opened its flagship King Street restaurant in 2011.

It won rave reviews – but in February this year the restaurant closed its doors, citing “tough commercial realities”.

The YEP subsequently revealed that Create had run up losses of nearly £1m in the space of less than 18 months.

It also emerged that the firm had been granted around £85,000 rate relief by Leeds City Council on King Street and other premises.

The firm’s founder and chief executive Sarah Dunwell – a one-time businesswoman of the year – stepped down in March.

* The meeting of Create’s creditors will take place at the Borough Arms Hotel in Newcastle-under-Lyme at 10.30am on June 5.

Creditors seeking information ahead of the meeting are asked to e-mail or ring 01782 594344.

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Leeds nostalgia: Bits of old Leeds sent to Germany... in 1979