Derby doughnut firm agrees three-year CVA deal

Derbyshire doughnut producer and retailer Project D has agreed a deal to avoid creditors taking action against the company.

The move will see the firm pay off about a third of its debts.

Project D’s owner, Bugibba Independent, has filed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) for debts totalling £298,000. The firm will pay about a third of this amount over the next three years, as agreed by a majority of creditors.

Despite the CVA, Project D stated its “core business is as strong as ever” and assured investors it was ready to “turn the corner” after experiencing three loss-making months in December, January, and February.

In 2021, Derby City Council provided an undisclosed grant from its Ascend fund to help the company during the Covid pandemic and In 2023, Project D raised £458,533 through crowdfunding to support its growth and expansion nationwide.

The largest portion of the money owed by the firm was to HMRC, which was £120,574. Payments of £45,750 to Max Poynton and Jacob Watts, as well as £9,500 to Matt Bond, Project D’s co-founders, will not be made. Other debts included in the CVA are £26,609 owed to Barclays Bank for a bounce-back loan.

Although Project D closed its Nottingham shop in April, it still operates outlets in York, Meadowhall, and Heathrow Terminal 2, along with various pop-up locations at events around the country.

Max Poynton, Project D marketing director, said: “Firstly, we want to emphasise that our core business is as strong as ever. As a team, we’ve been focusing on bakery efficiencies, large wholesale customers, an improved online gift offering, working with bigger event partners and an improved doughnut offering. We’ve had the strongest performing month of May in 3 years and June is trending even stronger.

“One of our operating companies went through some minor restructuring, due to us closing our Sheffield Meadowhall store. This decision does not impact our core business operation, which is the manufacture of premium handmade doughnuts. Our recent opening of a retail store at Heathrow Terminal 2 has proven to be successful, and our online sales have seen a 50% increase compared to this time last year.

“Our commitment to innovation and excellence remains unwavering, and we are grateful for the ongoing support from our loyal customers and partners. We look forward to continuing to serve customers with our delicious doughnuts for many years to come.”

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