A Lithuanian community homestead established 60 years ago by Lithuanian expatriates in Headley Park near London – a plot of land with a hotel and a lake – has now been taken over for debt and closed. The farmhouse, valued at around several million pounds, will be sold.
A Lithuanian homestead in Headley Park, near London, founded 60 years ago by Lithuanian emigrants – a plot of land with a hotel and a lake – has been taken over for debt and closed these days. The farmhouse, valued at around several million pounds, will be sold.
Some of the community blames poor management and drunken compatriots who have start the porridge, while others believe that it was simply in the interest of some to ruin the oasis of Lithuanian identity.
Zita Čepaitė, the suspended chairwoman
Zita Čepaitė, the suspended chairwoman of the Lithuanian Community of the United Kingdom (JKLB), claimed to Lietuvos žinios that the debts of the company that manages the Lithuanian Garden now amount to about 400,000 pounds .The JKLB owns 52% of the shares in the company that manages the Lithuanian Garden, the rest are owned by the Lithuanian Social and Sports Club, private individuals, and the Lithuanian Nation’s Fund, which is based in the USA.
Artūras Indriūnas managed the Lithuanian Homestead
Artūras Indriūnas, a member of the JKLB, who managed the Lithuanian Homestead for several months in 2013, told the daily that when he was at the helm of the hotel, the turnover of the establishment was between 460,000 and 500,000 pounds per year. He supposed that 27 000 pounds of debts had been paid off in a month and a half and that it was planned that they would disappear within a certain time.
Improving the situation of the Homestead
In order to improve the situation of the Homestead, the administration and management of the Homestead has been transferred to LSSK Limited, a company with no shareholders, as of 15 November , which means that all profits will be reinvested in the upkeep of the Homestead or given to the community. The real estate – buildings and land – remains the property of the LHS (Lithuanian Home Society).
The priority for LSSK, the company that has now taken over the management of the Homestead, is to pay off the accumulated debts and make the business profitable. There is hope that the Homestead can survive and maintain the purpose for which it was purchased – to be a place of both community celebration and relaxation in nature for hard-working Lithuanian families. But this will only be possible if everyone has the goodwill to support the future of the Homestead.