Developer of Butterfield Business Park in Lutton, England, UK is in administration – because there is no demand from companies to use it

Lack of demand hits business park firm
Published: 23/09/2012 09:30
LD Express Newspaper Ltd

A development firm behind Butterfield Business Park is in administration – because there is no demand from companies to use it.

Easter Investments Butterfield Limited (EIBL), which develops the 85-acre business park in Great Marlings, Luton, owes around £9.2 million to Dunbar Bank.

The business park opened in 2007 and had been heralded as a shining light for the town and houses companies such as The Royal Bank of Scotland and the University of Bedfordshire.

Luton Borough Council’s corporate director of environment and regeneration, Colin Chick, once said ‘the advent of Butterfield will help Luton towards its ambition of becoming a high technology centre, capable of attracting international attention and acting as a magnet for inward investment’.

But earlier this year, the Easter Group – of which EIBL is a part – went into administration, with accountancy firm PKF appointed as administrators for the Butterfield site.

James Money, of PKF, said: “There has been no change since the company went into administration.

“It doesn’t make a difference for the tenants there [or the council] and we want to ensure we can get as many high quality tenants as possible so we can pay back the debt owed to Dunbar.

“Like most property developers, Easter Investments borrowed a lot of money for development and unfortunately, the demand just isn’t there anymore.”

A brochure made by Easter said that further development at the site would offer 1.1 million square feet of office space alongside a creche and leisure facilities. However, it is not known what will happen to these plans.

Luton Borough Council is a minority shareholder in a company that owns the land at Butterfield and had contracted EIBL to develop it.

Robin Porter, the council’s corporate director for commercial and transformation services, said: “We have been aware of the situation for a while and know that Easter has gone into administration.

“We have strong aspirations to see the site developed and are going to work with our partners to find a new developer for the remaining land at the site.”

Roland Lee, a director Easter, refused to comment, saying instead ‘the situation is being handled by PFK.’

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