ONE of the first buildings to have thousands of pounds of Townscape Heritage money invested in improving its appearance had its doors closed last Wednesday with staff and patrons being told they had ten minutes to drink up and vacate the building.
And for patrons and those employed at the Dalhousie Bar, who were shocked to not only be robbed of their favourite watering hole and the place they worked, the only way they appear likely to get their jobs back is if a new owner appears on the horizon when the building goes up for sale on the market.
The Dally’s case is now being dealt with by a Government agency and a spokesman for them, while unable to talk about the detail of an individual case, was able to shed some light on what patrons and those employed with are now faced with.
The Register of Insolvencies confirms that Marcus Finlay Tait was made bankrupt at Arbroath Sheriff Court on February 22, 2011 following a petition by HMRC Enforcement & Insolvency Service.
The Accountant in Bankruptcy has been appointed as trustee in this case and Wylie and Bisset, 168 Bath Street, Glasgow, has been appointed to administer this case on behalf of AiB.
A spokesperson for AiB said: “If a person is declared bankrupt they are required to hand over their estate, including their home and any assets such as property, to their trustee.
“Any money or assets due to the debtor, such as business debts, also transfer to the trustee.”
Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for administering the process of personal bankruptcy and recording corporate insolvencies in Scotland.
The agency has responsibility for policy issues regarding bankruptcy, corporate insolvency and the Scottish law of diligence and also has responsibility for administering the Debt Arrangement Scheme,” continued the spokesperson.
Their mission is to ensure access to fair and just processes of debt relief and debt management for the people of Scotland, which takes account of the rights and interests of those involved.
The standard process for insolvency is that, if someone is either petitioned for bankruptcy or if they apply for bankruptcy themselves, their specific level of assets will be taken into account.
Their assets will be considered and some consideration is given to the family home.
Where there are a number of assets they are calculated against what the debtor owes and that’s how the case would progress.
As a building which has benefited from THI cash, Angus Council will also investigate what has occurred before taking further action.
This heritage-led regeneration project is jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Angus Council and Historic Scotland (Historic Environment Heritage Fund - Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme).
Over the five-year period the budget, initially totalling approximately £2.9 million, was to be used to regenerate the city by funding several priority projects including the repair and restoration of key vacant buildings on the High Street, and the expansion of the Town House museum into the upper floors.
A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Signed legal contracts are a requirement of the THI grants scheme. All grant contracts have a repayment clause which includes the event of a company going into liquidation.”
Councillor Bob Myles, chairman of the THI, said he was sympathetic to those who had lost their jobs there and that further meetings would determine what the council’s next move regarding the building are.
He said: “I always thought that the Dalhousie seemed to be quite successful.
“We will have to look at what was in the agreement as per the THI monies. The improvements were, of course, made to that whole building, not just the bar. They involved the flats and everything.
“It’s very disappointing news. It always seemed to be a popular place with a lot of people and this is a big surprise to me as I am sure it will be to many other people.
“It will be discussed at the next meeting how we deal with this. I would like to see what the options available to us are.
“My sympathies go to those affected who have lost their jobs.”
One “Dally” regular put it on Facebook this week: “Hopefully someone will buy it cheap and before long it will open again. Here’s hoping!”
Many a young and more mature “Brechiner” has enjoyed a pint or nip in this ancient Brechin landmark.
The next one they have there will be determined by means now outwith their control.