A FORMER shopping centre boss whose dealings ended with a Lancashire arcade being chased for business rates by a local council has received a six-year trading disqualification.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that Craig James Brandwood, 58, had overhauled rent and service charge arrangements when he took over Pendle Rise, in Nelson.

Mr Brandwood, of Church Street, Ainsworth, had entered into a lease with Future Properties 1ST Ltd for the East Lancashire shopping centre.

He had pledged, as part of the takeover, to invest a reported £2.7m into upgrading the venue.

But insolvency officials say that after his arrival in the summer of 2017 he asked centre tenants to make rents and service charge payable to Future Properties, meaning his outfit, Pendle Rise Management (NW) Ltd, had no ostensible income.

This resulted in hefty business rates arrears being incurred by the local authority, Pendle Council.

County court action was initially taken by the council, to recoup their losses.

But eventually Pendle Rise Management NW was wound up by the Official Receiver.

And the local council had to write off just over £206,000 in unpaid rates.

An Insolvency Service official said: “The company (Pendle Rise Management NW) invoiced tenants, requesting rent payments and service charges be paid to Future Properties 1st Ltd and therefore did not receive its own income.

“The company did not have a bank account and did not receive any form of income, it therefore did not have the means to pay the liabilities it incurred.

“The company incurred a business rates liability amounting to £206,621 in respect of various units and addresses.

“The company also incurred trade liabilities amounting to £73,500 making a total deficiency of £280,121.”

Mr Brandwood’s six-year director disqualification, which runs from December 14, was imposed on the basis he failed to deliver up any accounts for Pendle Rise Management NW, so its true income and expenditure could be checked, or any liabilities it may have had to various creditors before its collapse.