Brides' fury as Doncaster wedding venue goes bust - as boss pledges to help refund cash
Brides have revealed their wedding plans were left in tatters and cash reportedly lost after a Doncaster wedding venue went bust.
The Diamond Live Lounge was declared insolvent in January – but details of its closure have only just been revealed.
A number of people say they are still awaiting refunds up to as much as £500 after the venue closed its doors – while the former owner of the Wood Street venue has denied he was involved at the time of its shutdown and says he has been helping people to get their money back.
Doncaster businessman Dominic Gibbs, who now runs a martial arts promotions firm in Doncaster called Caged Steel, has said he will call all those affected this week – and claims he has been helping people with refunds.
But a number of brides and people who had paid for parties at the venue say they have heard nothing – and fear they will never get their money back.
One upset bride-to-be said: “We booked our wedding venue there and was told in March that they were closing and our deposit would be paid back within five weeks.
"There’s been no response from anyone. Phones are off, Facebook page closed and no one responding.”
She said the couple had put down a £500 deposit for a wedding reception at the venue.
Another says she was told Diamond had closed in March and added: “They were hoping for a takeover to happen but hadn't been forthcoming and offered to help find another venue.
"But I asked for a refund as I had paid in full – that was agreed and was told up to five weeks for the refund to happen.
"They then emailed me on 12 March and asked for my bank details so it could be processed as soon as they were available.
"I asked for an update on 4 May and was told there wasn't any updates but would be in touch as soon as they knew anything. I then asked again on the 10 June no reply then again on the 18 June and again no reply.
“I've also tried phoning emailing and messaging and nothing. I think we will not see that money again.”
Another said she had organised a 50th birthday party at the venue last November and added: “Requested a refund but no response. They knew it was winding up and going to close yet still continued to take bookings from people.”
It comes after it emerged the business – known to many as its previous guise Camelots – was declared insolvent on January 12 this year.
It has also been revealed that a previous incarnation of the company folded in 2018 with just £345 in the bank.
Documents filed with Companies House show a firm called Diamond Live Lounge Ltd folded on January 10, 2018 with a handful of cash in its accounts.
A newly formed company, Diamond Doncaster, founded in January 2019, was the one declared insolvent in January this year.
A spokesman for Doncaster Council’s Licensing Department said: “On the 12 of January 2021, we were notified that Diamond Doncaster Ltd had either gone insolvent or been dissolved and the licence was closed.”
The venue has closed all its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter and its website has been taken down.
Emails to the firm have bounced back and a message on the venue’s telephone line states: “Due to the recent Covid-19 virus we are closed until further notice.”
Mr Gibbs, who was the venue’s last known owner and manager, has denied being involved in the company at the time of closure and when contacted by the Free Press, the martial arts show promoter said he was helping people to get their money back.
Asked for a statement in respone, in a reply to a tweet he said: “I have a show this weekend, however, I wasn't a shareholder or director when the business's (sic) went into administration. I have been helping people get money back. Get all details and I will call them all next week.”
When asked who was in charge of the business at its demise, he failed to respond.
In 2018, Mr Gibbs was also behind a drive to improve Doncaster, setting up a Facebook page called Clean Up Doncaster Town Centre, with the aim of wiping out anti-social behaviour and crime which he said was impacting on businesses.
Documents listed on Companies House show his former or ongoing involvement in a number of companies with similar names, registered to a number of different addresses.
These include a firm called Freedom Events and Entertainment Ltd, whose address is listed as 34-46 Wood Street – the address of Diamond Live Lounge, Diamond Safety Management Ltd, Diamond Promotions Ltd and Diamond Business Centre Ltd.
A former operations manager at Doncaster Council, in November 2019 he revealed he was pouring his energies into his Caged Steel business saying: “I won’t be happy until we’re the biggest UK promotion company.”
We have approached Mr Gibbs for further comment.