Leelex founder Ged Feltham has blamed “appalling trading conditions” in Leeds for the collapse of the company and closure of two restaurants.

MCA revealed earlier this month that Leelex had gone into administration, with the closure of Mexican casual dining concepts Cielo Blanco and Pintura in Leeds.

Feltham said other affiliated businesses, Jakes Bar, Oporta and Neon Cactus, all on Call Lane, Leeds, had been able to remain open after being acquired by Feltham’s former business partner Paul Lane.

Meanwhile Good Harbour Trading, which owns the Portobello Road Gin brand, and which Feltham is also a director of, has acquired The Distillery, the hotel, bar, restaurant and gin educational centre on Portobello Road.

Feltham told MCA: “The conditions in Leeds were appalling, we have seen terrible trading for the last 12 months. The city’s quiet, there are more places, but not enough customers.

“The casual dining side of the business just had to go, it had become completely untenable, with rising costs, falling sales. We tried our best to save it and renegotiate the rent with LandSec but they refused.

“It wasn’t something we could continue with going forward, so we had to call in the administrators.”

Howard Smith and David Costley-Wood from KPMG’s Restructuring practice were appointed Joint Administrators to Leelex Limited on 27 September 2018.

Howard Smith, associate partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Companies across the casual dining sector are currently facing well-documented challenges, including reduced consumer spend, rising input costs and stiffening competition, particularly in the mid-market space. Unfortunately, Cielo Blanco was no exception, and against this backdrop had recently experienced significant cash flow issues.”