Christmas event banned from council land after workers unpaidon January 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

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Suppliers, staff and performers are “deeply upset and anxious” about being left out of pocket.

The Castlemas event at Tonbridge CastleImage source, Castlemas

Organisers of a Christmas event which has not paid its workers have been told they will not be able to use council land in future.

The Castlemas event at Tonbridge Castle in Kent hosted 64 festive stalls, an igloo theatre, live music and a bar.

According to a staff email, the firm that ran the event has been unable to pay employees due to the cost of living crisis, leaving people out of pocket.

The firm has not responded to BBC requests for comment.

Tonbridge and Malling Council, which is also owed money, said it had received a high number of complaints from suppliers, staff and performers.

The authority said it has now written to Castlemas Ltd’s directors saying the council will not host future events involving the company.

Ryan Weeks

In a post on Facebook, Tonbridge & Malling Council said, as owner of Tonbridge Castle, it was among those chasing payments for venue hire and other services.

Robert Styles, the council’s director of street scene, technical and leisure services, said he was disappointed difficulties had not been communicated before or during the event, to limit losses.

In the publicly-posted letter, Mr Styles wrote: “We as a council will not permit you to use our land for any future events, even should you clear your outstanding debts.

“We have received a high number of complaints from suppliers, staff and performers unable to contact you.

“They are understandably deeply upset and anxious to know if they will receive any payment that they are due.”

He urged the company to communicate its position on the outstanding debts to the council and to respond directly to its creditors.

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