EXCLUSIVE: Northampton bakery Oliver Adams owed £1.7 million in bill, report reveals

The Oliver Adams store onthe corner of Woodhill has already closed as part of a restructing of the popular bakery firm.
The Oliver Adams store onthe corner of Woodhill has already closed as part of a restructing of the popular bakery firm.
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Troubled bakery firm Oliver Adams owed nearly £1.7 million to food suppliers, councils, energy firms, the county cricket club and many more, a new document has revealed.

Northampton’s long-running bread and cake makers has had to let go 62 staff and close 12 stores last week.

But yesterday a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) was signed by nearly all of the creditors the firm owes money to. The move will allow Oliver Adams to repay them a lesser figure over the next five years.

A document seen by the Chronicle & Echo shows the firm had wracked up £1.6 million worth of debt to companies and the taxpayer alone.

The biggest bill of all was to the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs - £315,000 - but other large sums were owed to private firms.

Local companies were in the mix, including Farmhouse Meats in Gladstone Road, situated less than a mile away from the Oliver Adams main bakery, and owed £112,438.

The papers show the firm owes Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, where it used to have a cafe, £9,000. Oliver Adams now has a concessions stall for T20 matches at Wantage Road.

Northampton Borough Council, South Northants Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council feature among the creditors.

And directors of Oliver Adams, Mark Jarvis and Martin Denness, are also owed sizeable sums. Mr Jarvis is owed £333,333 and Mr Deness £166,667.

While insolvency practitioners BRI has managed to get the creditors to come to an agreement for now, joint supervisor for the firm, Peter Windatt said Oliver Adams was not totally out of the woods just yet.

The answer is - and this goes for any sized business - one wrinkle in the road can trip the whole thing up.

“Let’s say I’m cautiously optimistic,” Mr Windatt added.

Stephen Church, who used to run Church’s China in St Giles Street and was chairman of the Northampton Town Centre Summit, said it was good new Oliver Adams would not be disappearing from the town’s high street altogether.

But he said it is of little surprise the brand got into financial trouble.

He said: “The demise is no surprise considering the growth of national chains offering inferior quality products but at a price that it is difficult for an independent to compete with.”

Oliver Adams was approached for comment yesterday.