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Hop Farm attraction enters liquidation

Date Added: 08/03/2013  

One of the leading tourist attractions in the Kent region has confirmed it is going into liquidation.

The Hop Farm has seen a downturn in the number of people visiting as a result of the recession and it has placed insolvency firm White Maund in charge of the process.

Hop Farm Trading will continue to employ its 13 members of staff for the near future as it continues to operate, but their jobs are believed to be at risk in the medium-term.

One of the factors involved in the closure of the site was the decision to move the War and Peace military show to Folkestone after 20 years at Hop Farm.

Jackie Matthias, chief executive of the West Kent Chamber of Commerce, explained the bad weather experienced by the region last year was one of the reasons for the Hop Farm's failure.

Speaking to BBC News, she said: "The really big thing that happened was when War and Peace pulled out. That has really been the main attraction and earned a lot of money for the Hop Farm over the years."

The administrators said the company plans to honour any bookings for weddings or events where a deposit had been paid.

It is also expected that the Hop Farm Music Festival, which was headlined by Billy Ocean, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel and Sir Bruce Forsyth last year, will go ahead from June 29th to July 1st.

No acts have been announced for the event yet, but the festival's website says early bird tickets have sold out.

Other performers to have been on the bill in 2012 included Suede, Damien Rice, Ray Davies, Patti Smith, Richard Ashcroft, The Levellers and Jose Gonzalez.

A White Maund spokesman confirmed that the firm is trying to find a buyer for the business and its assets, which could mean the attraction is able to stay open.

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Posted by Julie Cutts

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