Following its strange purchase of the Woolpack boozer in Pendleton, Salford Council is about to add to its pub portfolio as it negotiates to buy the infamous Brass Handles, scene of a fatal gun battle between would be assassins and their targets three years ago.
The Council is staying tight lipped about the deal, Peter Connor Lead Member for Housing, saying only that… "We're looking to purchase the former Brass Handles pub as part of our wider regeneration plans for Pendleton…at this stage we do not own it".
However, a confidential Council report titled `Acquisition of Brass Handles Pub' contains "details of the provisionally agreed terms and conditions for the acquisition of the property" and adds that "this information should not be in the public domain until contracts have been exchanged"…The Strategic Director for Customer and Support Services was instructed to "complete the legal formalities" on 3rd November.
Earlier this year Salford Councillor John Warmisham said that the Brass Handles should be bulldozed as it "remains a macabre reminder of what went on in there".
The Council will not state who it is buying the pub from, or the price, but in 2007 the Brass Handles was auctioned for a `bottom price of £130,000 and a `top price' of £150,000.
Last year Chek Whyte went public on his plans to turn the former pub into a nursery to compliment the refurbishment and sale of flats in the nearby Rosehill Court towerblock, re-named Bronte Court after a girl he helped during the Secret Millionaire tv programme.
"Lifting the image of the area is crucial for the growth of the area and I think that by us investing in the area it will only get better" he told Channel M news "…they all know me, it's like having a film star round here …You can see the regeneration around here, you can see they need help and you can see there's something to put back into the area."
Plans were submitted to Salford Council in May 2008 for a change of use for the Brass Handles from `a public house' to a `nursery/day care centre'. The applicants name on the submitted forms was `Chek Whyte' of `Chek Whyte Industries' but Salford Council has confirmed that the applicant's name on planning applications does not have to be the owner.
The Salford Star revealed in issue 8 that the last filed accounts for Chek Whyte Industries from 2007 showed assets for the company at exactly £1 cash at bank and in hand. We can now further reveal that neither Chek Whyte nor Chek Whyte Industries ever owned either Bronte Court or the Brass Handles, and that the properties never appeared on the list of Whyte's assets that was sent to creditors, owed around £30 million.
Sub contractors from Salford who worked on Bronte Court are still owed money from Chek Whyte but it is extremely unlikely they will receive a penny from Salford Council's potential purchase of the Brass Handles. Both properties are owned under the name of Claremont Property Holdings Ltd, an off shore company incorporated in the British Virgin Isles, and registered in Jersey.
Chek Whyte is still technically bankrupt but is awaiting a date for the bankruptcy to be `annulled', as he has entered into an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement) with his creditors.
"Chek Whyte will assist with the completion and sale of his developments to maximise their value for his creditors" says Mark Sands, Supervisor of the IVA "And in return the creditors will write off the balance of the debts."
It looks like the Salford properties that Chek Whyte very publicly heralded will not go towards maximising that value…
See previous articles on Chek Whyte here...