The director of street food outlet, Fresco Pizza, which closed just three months after setting up in Darlington’s refurbished indoor market, has denied the business has gone into liquidation.
A report claimed that three members of staff had lost their jobs due to the closure and it is alleged they were not paid their full wages for November or December. Rent payments are also allegedly outstanding on the stall.
It was reported that the business premises were now deserted, with all cooking and food preparation equipment removed, apart from a menu and some empty pizza boxes. The Facebook page advertising the business has also been deleted.
Business space within the indoor market is provided by the Market Asset Management (MAM) company, which leases the building from Darlington Council. A MAM spokesperson was quoted in The Northern Echo as saying: “A tenant, Daniel Spoors, informed us in a message on November 30 that one of his businesses had gone into liquidation.
“The company also employed the staff who sadly say they were not paid their full wages last month or this month. Rent is also outstanding and we are currently working with our lawyers and speaking with the tenant. We understand at least three members of staff are affected and are having to claim money through an insolvency company. It is comforting that one of the staff has been taken on by another unit within the market and another has secured alternative employment.”
However, the company director Daniel Spoors rejected the claims and said that Fresco Pizza has left the market on its own terms. “We have left the market as we aren’t in contract to be there,” he said. Fresco Darlington ltd has not entered liquidation, just the site isn’t what we expected.”
Fresco’s Consett and Esh Winning premises continue to trade while a new Hartlepool site is currently under construction.
Some local people have criticised the redevelopment and said it is not suited to the location or customer demands. It was argued that new upmarket businesses were likely to fail because there were no tourists and one claimed that “successful, established market traders had to leave to make way for this speculative trendy stuff.”