Two VMS Live companies enter administration

Two VMS Live companies enter administration

Two VMS Live companies have entered administration, with the likely loss of 20 full-time jobs, it has been announced.

The venue management specialist, operator of Hull's The Welly and The Polar Bear, said it "lacked financial buffers" to withstand the impact of the lockdown closure.

The company underwent a restructure last year following the death of founder Steve Forster and the departure of two directors. The restructure saw Bert Van Horck appointed as CEO, with Forster's widow Kate Forster joining the board as non-executive director. 

Van Horck (pictured) said: “I am deeply saddened that we had to make this decision, following the completion of the yearly accounts, the announcements of the government and the bank reconciliation, which lead us to be at immediate risk of trading whilst insolvent.

“I would like to thank all of our staff on behalf of Kate and I for the magnificent efforts made to try and save these two companies, both between September and March during normal trading and beyond into the Covid-19 enforced closure.”

The remaining four VMS Live companies were still "solvent and active" and will continue to operate under Van Horck and Kate Forster's leadership.

The Music Venue Trust has responded to the news on its Facebook page.

"Music Venue Trust is devastated to learn that the operating company, VMS Live (Venues) Ltd, which manages both The Welly and The Polar Bear in Hull, have been forced to move into administration today, resulting in the immediate closure of both venues," it said,

"We understand that the future of both spaces as grassroots music venues may be salvageable, and we strongly urge Hull City Council to bring together all stakeholders in the city to see what can be done. Music Venue Trust will engage with and support all attempts to secure the premises, locate alternative operators and prevent The Welly and The Polar Bear being permanently lost."

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