Bust Kettering dinosaur restaurant company owed more than £400,000 to the taxman

Three restaurants suddenly shut their doors at the start of the year
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A bust dinosaur-themed restaurant firm which began in Kettering owed more than £400,000 to the taxman, documents have revealed.

Jurassic Alive Ltd, which operated the Jurassic Grill chain, began winding-up proceedings after staff at three of their restaurants were suddenly told they were closing on New Year’s Day in a message.

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The shock announcement came just months after the company went up for sale with a £1.3m price tag.

Jurassic Grill in Kettering, pictured before it closed.Jurassic Grill in Kettering, pictured before it closed.
Jurassic Grill in Kettering, pictured before it closed.

But documents published on Companies House as part of their liquidation process show they have dozens of creditors who are owed an estimated total of just under £1.28m. The largest of these is HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which is a second preferential creditor for £433,522.

Documents revealed they had estimated total assets of just £25,200 available for preferential creditors, which will be used to partly cover 56 claims for employee arrears or holiday pay for a total of £42,283.66.

Company director and founder Jozef Mordawska declined to comment.

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The Northants Telegraph asked HMRC how the firm was allowed to run up such a large unpaid debt, what action was being taken to recoup the money and whether they were investigating what happened.

A HMRC spokesman said they couldn’t comment on specific cases but said: "We take a supportive approach to dealing with customers who have tax debts, and do everything we can to help those who engage with us to get out of debt, such as offering instalment plans.”

Jurassic Grill launched in Kettering in 2019, opening its first restaurant in Market Place. In 2021 they opened at Rushden Lakes before opening a third branch in Hampshire the following year. All three have now closed.

A fourth Jurassic Grill restaurant, at Loch Lomond in Scotland, remains open and is understood to be separately owned to the English restaurants.

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A media release issued when Jurassic Alive Ltd went on the market said they employed 67 staff plus a further nine managers. It also said that, in its most recent financial year, ‘Jurassic Alive Ltd achieved a gross profit of £1.05m’.

But documents published on Companies House show how much money they owed to dozens of creditors.

Included in a list of non-preferential creditors were 58 claims from trade and expense creditors for a total of £466,902.60 and more employee claims.

Documents revealed the firm owed just shy of £95,000 to ‘Northamptonshire County Council’ – which is understood to be rent as the Kettering restaurant unit is council-owned – as well as almost £99,000 to The Crown Estate, who own Rushden Lakes.

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Further creditors include payment method firm Squareup Europe Ltd (just over £148,000) and British Gas (just over £44,000) as well as smaller amounts owed to local firms including Ken Signs Ltd in Kettering and Sign & Graphic Solutions in Wellingborough.

One worker, who didn’t want to be named, previously told this newspaper they had not been paid some of their wages for December when they lost their job.

They said: “I'm angry because this is not how my start of the year was supposed to be. Each of us has bills to pay...I am entering the new year with a problem because I have not received a salary to be able to pay them.”

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