Agency is wound up

A GROUP set up amid much hype to regenerate and promote a business area is to close, The Comet has learned. Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) has confirmed that Gunnels Wood Business Partnership (GWBP) is to go into voluntary liquidation. Last week The Com

A GROUP set up amid much hype to regenerate and promote a business area is to close, The Comet has learned.

Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) has confirmed that Gunnels Wood Business Partnership (GWBP) is to go into voluntary liquidation.

Last week The Comet reported that the future of the partnership was unclear as it was no longer operating from its former premises in Bessemer Drive.

Nick Gibson, the partnership's former chief executive, confirmed that his contract had run out before Christmas and not been renewed.


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Now it seems that the not-for-profit company has definitely folded.

An SBC spokesman said that GWBP was going into liquidation mainly because it had not received anticipated funding from EEDA (the East of England Development Agency).

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Quite how much money GWBP has received since it was set up in 2005 remains unclear.

It appears to have received some money from two grants totalling £187,500 given to SBC by Hertfordshire Prosperity.

The SBC spokesman said: "The council has not directly funded Gunnels Wood Business Partnership but has accessed European funding on its behalf.

"The council cannot comment further on the company's financial circumstances, which are currently in the hands of an insolvency practitioner."

He added: "The partnership has achieved a co-ordinated approach to business issues and generated substantial energy to create better business partnerships in Stevenage and improvements to the Gunnels Wood area.

"The council is currently exploring other ways of continuing to work closely with business and other partners in Gunnels Wood.

"The council is keen to continue a strong partnership with businesses in Stevenage and will be discussing with interested parties how we can work with EEDA to develop further initiatives for the improvement of the Gunnels Wood area.

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