§ Mr. Miller
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what amount paid to Unicorn Heritage plc has been written off; on what date that decision was made; by whose authority the decision was taken and how it was communicated to the company.
§ Mr. Sproat
Unicorn Heritage plc went into liquidation on 25 June 1990. On 13 August 1992, the English tourist board recommended to my Department that a debt of £200,000 owed to the board by Unicorn Heritage should be written off as irrecoverable. The board took this step following a letter from the company's liquidators, which stated that there was no prospect of this debt being paid.
Treasury approval for the write-off was given on 14 May 1993, and the loss was noted in my Department's 1992–93 appropriation accounts on 30 September 1993. There was no need for further communication with the company, which in any case had ceased to exist. Unicorn Heritage plc was not treated differently in any way from that in which any other company in similar circumstances would be treated.