Northern Ireland

County Tyrone mill owes creditors more than £10m

Herdman's Mill
Image caption Herdman's Mill was empty went it went on fire in July

The company which owned the historic Herdman's Mill in County Tyrone owed its creditors more than £10m when it went into receivership earlier this year.

Ulster Bank, the largest creditor, is owed more than £6m.

Invest NI, a secured creditor, is owed £2.5m.

The mill ceased spinning linen in 2004 and the Herdman family had hoped to to redevelop the 60-acre site which dominates the village of Sion Mills.

Receivers were appointed in June when the trustees of Herdmans Pension Scheme issued a winding-up petition against a subsidiary company due to its inability to meet pension contributions.

Unsecured creditors include Monument Property Services, a company associated with Titanic Quarter developer Pat Doherty. It is owed £1.2m, a sum unlikely to be repaid.

The receiver's report notes that the book value of the mill site is £6m but that a current market value is still to be confirmed.

In July, some of the mill buildings were badly damaged in a major fire.

That has had a knock-on effect on a hydroelectric generation business which operates from the site.

The hydroelectric business, which was owned by the Herdman family and sold power to Airtricity, is also in receivership.

The receiver's report states that the July fire caused debris to fall into the mill race which services the hydroelectric scheme.

As a result, electricity generation has had to be suspended until the debris is cleared and the Environment Agency has given its approval to restart.

The unsecured creditors of the hydroelectric business are owed more than £5m - the bulk of the money is due to the government's Pension Protection Fund.

The accountancy firms ASM and PricewaterhouseCoopers are owed £56,000 and £32,000 respectively while a Belfast solicitors firm is owed £11,000.

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