Former bosses of Ma Kellys are banned following six-figure unpaid tax bill

A husband and wife who ran the Ma Kelly’s nightclubs in Blackpool landed in hot water over an six-figure unpaid tax bill.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 7:58 am

Paula Kelly, 55, and Paul Anthony Kelly, 58, have both been banned from being a company director for seven years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

When quizzed, the pair failed to explain their company’s reported turnover of £1.1m or an outstanding £195,000 tax bill.

Their failure to keep accounting records came to light, according to the Insolvency Service, when their company Flexitell Ltd went into administration in May 2017.

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The former bosses of Ma Kellys have been banned from holding business directorships

The company had been behind the four Ma Kelly’s bars in Blackpool, as well as one in Fleetwood.

While the businesses were sold on as a result going into administration, Flexitell was referred to the Insolvency Service for further enquiries.

An investigation by the Government agency found that Mr and Mrs Kelly could not explain their claimed turnover, tax owed or the outstanding balances on their directors’ loans.

Flexitell was incorporated in March 2016 and the couple were appointed as directors. The company was previously registered at Ma Kellys North at 77 Talbot Road and was the parent company to the Kelly’s Fylde coast bars and nightclubs.

On November 9, the Secretary of State accepted disqualification undertakings from the pair after they did not dispute the findings of the investigation, the Insolvency Service confirmed in a statement.

Mr and Mrs Kelly are now banned from acting as directors of a company or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for seven years.

Mike Smith, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Failing to keep accounting records up to date is a serious obligation for any business director.

“The Kellys did not take their responsibilities seriously and at no point did they engage with our investigation.

“These bans should serve as a warning that if company directors do not keep good company records, they run the risk of facing disqualification from their business for a significant period.”

The company’s venues were taken over by another firm when Flexitell entered administration and have continued to trade.

The Fleetwood site is under new ownership and no longer trades as Ma Kelly’s.

Nobody from Ma Kelly’s could be reached for comment on the story.