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Stalled site move leads to Tempest Ford closure

Tempest Ford’s efforts to relocate ahead of the redevelopment of its dealership site fell flat as its operators revealed that the business had gone into administration.

The solus operator’s 24 staff will be made redundant after the business was forced to vacate its St John Street site, the Lichfield Mercury reported.

The newspaper reported that Tempest had been due to vacate its premises, to make way for a development being led by Lichfield District Council and its partner Development Securities, by October 1.

But Tempest Ford managing director, Brian Carruthers, said that the date had been brought forward to July 23 – leaving the dealership with nowhere to go.

Carruthers said that alternative premises had been found on Eastern Avenue , but added: “There was a 12 month lead time.”

He said: “We had always known we had to move out on October 1, but Lichfield District Council and Development Securities have brought that date forward and we don't have time to get a temporary site ready.

“If we have nowhere to go we are technically insolvent.”

Tempest Ford had been in business at the junction of St John Street and Birmingham Road, Lichfield, since 2006.

Speaking to the Lichfield Mercury, Richard King, director of place and community at Lichfield District Council, confirmed that the authority had granted Tempest Ford planning consent for a new car dealership and showroom on the former Naturana site at Eastern Avenue in July last year and said that the authority had been “Actively supporting Tempest Ford to find a new premises.”

He added: “Friarsgate is a complex £70 million scheme that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the city.

“As part of the preparation works for the development, it's vital that the site is vacant so that the developers U+I can bring the scheme forward.

“Tempest Ford has been aware they need to relocate their business for many years, and that we would have released them from their lease at any point with no penalty.”

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