Toilet roll up for auction to help pay off City of Culture Trust debts

Packs of jumbo toilet roll have been put up for auction to help cover the Coventry City of Culture Trust’s debts.

They are among nearly 400 items being sold.

The trust was set up to continue the legacy of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021 through cultural and community projects. It entered administration in February, causing 29 permanent staff and 21 casual staff to be made redundant after failing to secure a solution to its financial woes.

Creditors include Coventry City Council which is owed £1.6m. The Assembly Festival group, which ran the popular Assembly Festival Gardens attraction, is owed nearly £1.5m.

Other items up for sale on the BPI auction website include an electric fly killer machine, a defibrillator and two signed rugby shirts.

Laptops, computer monitors, microwaves and fridges have also been listed.

The National Audit Office and Charity Commission have launched investigations into the trust’s finances, and administrators are conducting their own inquiry.

The NAO told the BBC in February that “preliminary enquiries” are being made into the charity’s finances after the organisation entered administration.

Andy Street said on Twitter that: “Whether it’s the NAO, Charity Commission, or City Council, there must be a proper investigation into what has gone wrong”.

Coventry City of Culture Trust received more than £20m in funding in total and auditors signed off the charity as a going concern in July 2022. The charity recorded a £1.5m deficit in 2021/22 and needed to repay £3.3m to creditors in the year ahead, according to its most recent accounts.