Basildon Council paid Simon Construction Ltd more then 1 million for the new cinema complex just before the firm collapsed. A Freedom of Information request revealed the council made four payments to Simons Construction Ltd this year, totalling £1,178,549, before it went into administration in October. The demolition of the site, which was being carried out by Squibb Group under sub-contract from Simons, was temporarily halted at the end of October, but has since resumed, with a spring 2021 opening date still hopeful, according to the council.
A spokesman for Basildon Council said: “All payments made to Simons Construction Limited were for work undertaken before they fell into administration. No payments have been made since.”
A spokesman for FRP Advisory, administrators for Simons, said: “Nathan Jones and John Lowe, of FRP Advisory, were appointed were appointed as joint administrators for Simons Construction Ltd on October 29. “Since their appointment, the joint administrators have been conducting an orderly wind down of the business and, where possible, seeking to transfer across any remaining live contracts to alternative contractors with minimal disruption. “This work is ongoing and an update will be provided to all creditors in due course.”