Bath adventure firm Global Enduro is forced to close
A Bath adventure expedition firm which has counted Princes William and Harry among its clients has gone into administration leaving a number of charities out of pocket.
Global Enduro, based in Argyle Street, announced this week it had ceased trading after ten years of organising fundraising trips all over the world.
A tough past 12 months for the company has seen it try to negotiate long-term payment plans with five charities to which it owed money.
However the economic climate, and the fact that a number of letters detailing its financial difficulties were leaked online before Christmas, has proved too much and directors Simon Smith and Nick Capsey have admitted defeat.
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A statement from the firm said: "We're absolutely devastated.
"After a fantastic ten years, the recent economic climate has not been kind to many companies, and we're one of those.
"These are aspirational adventures but for many it is their second holiday. Finding new customers in the current climate has become extremely challenging.
"We know we've given people some amazing experiences whilst travelling on our own journey too – we've seen clients get married and even go on to have Global Enduro babies in the past ten years."
Since 2002, it has raised £3.4 million for a number of good causes.
In 2008 it enjoyed national publicity when Princes William and Harry took part in a 1,500km motorcycle rally across Africa.
One of the charities owed money by the firm is Sentebale, founded by Prince Harry with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006.
A spokesman said it was seeking advice to try to make sure it received the outstanding funds.
Global Enduro's statement said it had spent the past year trying to come up with a financial plan to secure money for all the charities, and although some had accepted the new terms and conditions, it had not worked out.
It believes that the release of documents onto the internet created uncertainty among clients and potential clients.
It is not known how much money is owed to the charities, which also include the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Unicef UK and Touch Africa.
The company has declined to answer specific questions about the subject.
However documents seen by the Chronicle suggest the sums could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
At the time of going to press none of the other charities had responded to requests for comment on the firm's demise.
Global Enduro had 11 trips planned to take place over the coming year, including a motorbike expedition in Cambodia due to leave on Sunday.
These have all now been cancelled and the company is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority to try to secure refunds.