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Traders lose out as baby show firm wound up

A FIRM that cancelled a major exhibition for mothers, leaving businesses thousands of pounds out of pocket, has ceased trading.

Harris Clyde Events Limited has told creditors that it is insolvent and is seeking dissolution just weeks after it called off the giant Mother and Baby Show at Glasgow's SECC.

The company was scheduled to host the event next weekend at one of the SECC's huge 5000 square metre halls and had sold stalls to an estimated 40 exhibitors, many small businesses and sole traders who think they have lost their money.

Harris Clyde is no longer answering calls and is understood not to have been seen at its base on in Giffnock, south of Glasgow, for some weeks.

However, an email to exhibitors said: "With regret, Harris Clyde Events Limited would like to inform you that we have ceased trading as of Friday 8th August 2014. The company has now insufficient funds to meet its financial obligations and is thus insolvent. Proceedings are under way for company dissolution."

Dani Cartwright, who runs a small baby clothes and maternity supply firm called Daisy Rock Designs from her home in Dunoon, had signed over £700 to the company. She fears she will never see the money again. "I am a sole trader and this a lot of money for me," she said.

Many of the businesses that planned to have stalls at the event were small. Ms Cartwright makes dresses for young children and environmentally friendly maternity products.

She had seen the show - that was to run over three days - as a big opportunity to promote her new business.

Harris Clyde was founded early this year and - as a new company - has never had to file accounts. The company secretary is Steven Jacobs. He was also listed as operations director and acted as the point of contact for exhibitors. The company's director is Mandy Abby Harris, 45, and is listed under an address in London.

Chris Allen is another exhibitor affected by the cancellation. The businessman, who runs a children's fitness franchise, said he been led to believe the event would be very, big with celebrities and serious sponsors.

He said: "Where has the money gone? We don't know. Will we ever get it back? This could just be bad luck for the company. But for some of the other exhibitors the amounts of money lost are huge. I know of around 40 companies that have not got their money back."

Mr Allen and several other companies also lost money when another similar event, scheduled for May at Glasgow's Hampden Park, failed to materialise. The Parenting Show was organised by a company called Evolved Sales and Marketing Ltd, registered in Kilmarnock in 2013 by a man called Kevin Daly.

The SECC was unable to comment on its contract for the show, other than to say a booking for September 5, 6 and 7 was cancelled. Harris Clyde did not answer calls.

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