Castlemas blames the media for loss of investors after failing to pay workers

DIRECTORS of Tonbridge Christmas event, Castlemas, who failed to pay their staff, performers, and the borough council, have broken their silence.

The event organisers have issued a public statement after Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) told organisers they can no longer use council land after it had not paid any of its workers and suppliers.

After a ‘disappointing’ turnover, the event organisers looked for investors to bail them out but claimed the press coverage of the issue for causing investors to pull out.

In a statement, Castlemas Ltd said: “Directors have been collating the financial information to establish the outcome of Castlemas.

“Unfortunately, the results of the event were disappointing, but this did provide the information to allow the Directors to approach potential investors.

“There was a positive response from investors and a rescue package was being pulled together. However, sadly, recent events and, in particular, the press coverage, has caused the investors to withdraw.

“The Directors are now taking further advice to assess the options available and the steps to
be taken.”

The event has been widely criticised after Robert Styles from TMBC wrote a public letter last week.

In it he detailed the ‘high number of complaints/enquires from suppliers, staff and performers’ who are yet to be paid.

Of those still waiting for payment of donations is children’s’ Hospice, Demelza, which provides hospice care for children and young people and was the event’s charity partner.

In his letter, Mr Styles told the organisers that because of their unsettled debts, the council will no longer permit Castlemas Ltd ‘to use our (TMBC’s) land for any future events’ even if they clear their debts.

He added that some council invoices remained and they ‘expect to be paid in full too, being taxpayers’ money.’

According to Companies House, Castlemas Ltd directors, Oliver Tourle and Hannah Rotchell, who were also directors of Bravo Productions, which hosted Castlemas in 2021, went into liquidation last year and owes £150,000.

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