A BAR and restaurant which closed unexpectedly has gone into liquidation with debts of more than £1 million.

Colchester’s Boadicea, in Haven Road, King Edwards Quay, was closed by bailiffs in February due to money woes.

At the time restaurant boss Joshua Campbell-Broome told the Gazette it planned to reopen soon.

READ MORE: Boadicea bar and restaurant closed after bailiffs visit

However, accountancy firm Larking Gowen has been brought in to liquidate the firm’s assets to pay the company’s creditors.

Documents show in total Boadicea owes £1,037,269 to

23 different businesses based in Essex and further afield.

Several small firms in Colchester and the surrounding areas are owed thousands of pounds including fresh food suppliers Anglia Produce, based in Harwich Road, Lawford, which is owed £3,794.70.

Owner Steve Hatch said small businesses like his would suffer the most.

He said: “We worked with them for some time but they closed up overnight.

“We have an experienced team who collect payments but there were no real signs.

“We are owed a considerable amount of money for a small company like us.

“It isn’t the first time it has happened in this business and it won’t be the last but the total amount of debt is unbelievable.”

The Rare Breeds Meat Company, based in Colne Road, Coggeshall, is owed £2,929.

Joint owner George Blackwell said the firm had not paid for between two and three months worth of products.

He said: “The business kept saying they were going to pay and making excuses, then we got a letter from the liquidation firm.

“I have tried to contact the owner several times and left him messages but I have had no response.

“We take a bit of ownership and we should have done more but you do not expect it and you take people at their word.”

READ MORE: Boadicea restaurant cancels engagement party with a day's notice

Butchers Allen W & Sons, in St Botolph’s Street, is also owed £2,887.

Anthony Gazda, owners of Stanway’s Blackberry Bakery, said his company was not hopeful of recovering the £438 it is owed. He said: “We supplied a range of bakery products to them.

“It was over a period of three or four months we tried to collect money from them but whenever we went in they were too busy or said they did not have any cash.

“We are one of the smallest of the creditors and we understand it will be unlikely we will get the money back.”

Clacton’s Essex Fire Safety is owed £105, Langham firm Kat Marketing is owed £5,896 and solicitors John Fowlers is owed £91.

Licensed insolvency practitioner Andrew Kelsall said during the phased opening of the nearby student accommodation Boadicea established a good trading business.

However, he added: “The business had not performed as anticipated and after

18 months the management team completed a business review.

“As a consequence a different menu and promotions for the targeted market were introduced.

“During this time debts to HMRC occurred and it was decided the company should cease to trade.”

Before the business could close, the landlord took possession of the property.

Mr Kelsall added: “With the business ceasing so abruptly this is likely to affect any assets realised. The main liabilities are to the funder of the venue’s conversion and HMRC.”

The majority of the debt, or £843,986, is owed to B2016 Limited and director Lester Campbell-Broome.

The Government’s HM Revenue and Customs is owed £97,246 relating to VAT payments.

Colchester Council is owed £6,618 in unpaid business rates and collection fees.

More than £30,000 is owed to companies based in Norwich, Cheltenham and London including brewer Heineken, which is owed £2,101.

Creditors can contact Graeme.Douglas@larking-gowen.co.uk.