Pembrokeshire Council’s involvement in Bluestone holiday village to come under the spotlight

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council’s £1.9m financial involvement in the Bluestone holiday village will come under the spotlight next week.

At the May 11 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s full council, a question submitted by Councillor Alan Dennison will ask: “Given the council’s previous investment in Bluestone of a £1.9 million secured loan, now converted into shares, can the Cabinet member advise what return on investment per annum has been received over the last five years in share dividends or any other form of income?”

The £110m Bluestone eco-resort, near Narberth, opened in August 2008.

Back in 2009, it was reported that the county council took up an equity share option in the company behind the Bluestone holiday village.

It has previously been reported that amounted to three per cent of shares in Bluestone.

The decision to take up the shares – without paying out any new money – in Bluestone Resorts Ltd was made behind closed doors at a council cabinet meeting.

The report to members was also confidential.

The county council had previously loaned Bluestone Leisure Ltd — the previous company — funds at the time the multi-million pound project was first unveiled.

Bluestone Resorts Ltd was created following a restructuring of the business in 2009, that secured about £10m of extra investment.

In 2013, a management buy-out secured Pembrokeshire’s Bluestone National Park Resort in local ownership.

Back in 2015, Councillor Michael Williams raised the loan issue at full council, asking: “Several years ago PCC made a loan to Bluestone Ltd.  What was the amount of the loan, and what were the terms and conditions of the loan?”

He was told two loans were made, the first, dated November 22, 2006 in respect of the Bluestone Roundabout was for £803,000, with the first repayment six months after opening to guests and further repayments on a quarterly basis.

The response also noted a capital element of £50,000, with interest at 6.25 per cent per annum.

The second loan, dated 22 November 22, 2006, of £1m was in respect of Waterworld; with the first repayment 24 months after practical completion, and further repayments on a quarterly basis.

The response also detailed another capital element of £50,000.

In response to a supplementary question by Cllr Williams on what repayments had been received, he was told that, in terms of the original loan, two repayments had been received prior to the structuring of the investment being altered into share capital and that they were £68,954 and £59,974.

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