22 Queens Road Nuneaton – £2.6 million wasted

Yet again Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough council is making a massive loss on 22 Queens Road. Currently the ex-Woolworth Store is the Poundland in Ropewalk. It has just admitted that the rent has been dropped to just ONE POUND per year.

see cabinet report




In June 2010 Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough council spent £2.6 million on buying the lease of the Woolworths shop and funding TJ Hughes to move in.

At the time of the payments to TJ Hughes, its TJ Hughes (investments) Ltd which held most of the groups assets and liabilities was already in serious problems. The accounts for the retail part of the group showed a profit but the group was running out of working capital.

 from Jan 2010 accounts for TJ Hughes (investments) Ltd

The decision to do this deal was initially taken by the then Tory Cabinet which ran NBBC briefly between 2008 and 2010 when it was under the leadership of Cllr Peter Gilbert. The agenda for that meeting is missing on council website

The final decision was take at an extra full council meeting after Labour regained control under the Leadership of Dennis Harvey. Thankfully I obtained a copy of that agenda under the Freedom of Information Act after the deal was done but before they have become over handed with redacting/refusing request. I remember at the time that some councillors where very unhappy with the deal but could not say too much.

Note that Richard Warne was in charge of finance when the council got £3M lost in Iceland.