Picture: You Tube Video – Industry Voices Alex Proud

By Harry Mottram: Back in 2020 a businessman by the name of Alex Proud went on BBC Radio to decry the lack of support for the nighttime economy. Fair comment you might say – but he went further. Proud was candid about his history of liquidating firms and bragging that he always made sure that out of his firm’s creditors the taxman didn’t get paid. Perhaps not the wisest thing to say on national radio but the ‘latter day chancer’, as one of his creditors described him to ICSM (and that was the mildest description) seems to get away with it.

As the boss of the leisure business Proud Publishing Limited that rented Starmer House in South Wales he explained to the local newspaper The Argus in 2020 that he was liquidating the company as he couldn’t make the venture in the period property pay due to a rent increase. That was denied by the landlord who said Proud’s business owed back rent and was seeking an excuse to default. It wasn’t just rent that was owed as documents in Companies House showed that Proud Publishing owed more than £275,000 to creditors.

It wasn’t the only business Proud owned that was liquidated as he had previously pulled the plug on Country House (Starmer) Limited owing £57K to the council and £70K in VAT. Real Patisserie, Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, Brighton Paper Round Ltd and Brighton and Hove Coaches were also listed as unpaid creditors – so much for only leaving the taxman in the brown stuff. Then there was Cabaret Club (Brighton) Limited – another one of Proud’s businesses – which was also liquidated leaving the council with an unpaid bill of nearly £20K, and Proud Brighton Limited liquidated in 2013 with a long list of creditors and unpaid invoices amounting to £851,925. While at the same time he liquidated Proud Power Limited with liabilities to more than 130 businesses and organisations of close to £2 million pounds – reported The Argus.

Add to that the widely reported in the national media allegations of sexual harassment by Proud (and denied by him) at his night club in Brighton and the picture is not one to wax lyrical about to your maiden aunt. His current night club come cabaret businesses continue in London and Brighton as Proud Cabaret Brighton offering a ‘retro supper club/cabaret set in a plush former ballroom with glittering lights and a dance floor.’ Judging by the reviews it may seem not every customer is happy since they are either rave five-star reviews where everything is wonderful or a large number of one and two star reviews listing a litany of complaints.

Whatever the merits of the business Mr Proud is nothing if not a survivor – although at who’s cost might be the question. To get his businesses through Covid he successfully applied for a series of loans and grants like many firms. To say the amounts seen in documents by ICSM are eye-wateringly high is an understatement – but then in the words of one of his creditors – he’s a ‘latter day chancer’ – or Anglo Saxon words to that effect.

ICSM’s Ian Carrotte who advises against firms granting extended credit terms to clients that may or may not be in trouble said anyone who has a history of liquidating firms that owe huge amounts of cash should be avoided.



For information on ICSM visit www.icsmcredit.com or call 0844 854 1850.
ICSM, The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR. Tel: 0844 854 1850. www.icsmcredit.comIan.carrotte@icsmcredit.com