Handmade Burger Company administration puts Telford Southwater plans in doubt
A burger chain which had been due to open a branch in Telford has collapsed into administration, leaving question marks hanging over the plans.
The Handmade Burger Co is lined up to open a restaurant in the new Southern Quarter in Telford Shopping Centre.
But the chain's parent companies – The Sargeant Partnership Limited and Hand Made Burger Company LLP – have now been placed in administration with Leonard Curtis Recovery.
Nine of the chain's 29 stores were closed when the administrators were appointed, with the remainder to be kept open while plans to either reach an agreement with creditors or to find a buyer for the chain went ahead.
It is not yet known what will become of restaurants such as Telford's which are still in the pipeline.
In a statement, joint administrators Paul Masters, Conrad Beighton and Julien Irving said: "Regrettably, nine of the 29 restaurants were closed on appointment.
"The remaining restaurants continue to trade as normal under the joint administrators’ control and they hope to find a solution which will enable as many jobs as possible to be preserved.
"The joint administrators intend to seek approval from the companies’ creditors for a company voluntary arrangement, which is considered to be the best outcome for all creditors.
"If this cannot be achieved then the joint administrators will seek to find a buyer for the business. The joint administrators are in discussions with the key stakeholders and creditors of the business to achieve a positive outcome."
The administrators are from the company's office in Birmingham, where the chain has three restaurants – at Brindleyplace, Grand Central and the Bullring. The company is thought to employ about 900 people.
The chain was one of a number which had been earmarked for the new Southern Quarter, which the first part of the extensive redevelopment proposals for the centre, which will add up to 800,000 sq ft more retail and leisure space.
TGI Friday's and Prezzo are among the restaurants to have already opened on the site.
The second phase of the regeneration is the Northern Quarter, which will comprise up to seven new stores totalling 70,000 sq ft, on the site of the former Asda supermarket.