Aylesbury Vale District Council closes Limecart and Incgen company

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Vale Commerce Ltd has been put into a 'dormant' state after the business failed to meet 'initial targets' and struggled against private sector competition.

This means that services such as 'Limecart', which offered home cleaning and gardening services, and 'Incgen', which provided support to local businesses, moving back into control of the council.

The decision, made at a cabinet meeting on January 9, was a recommendation of the companies board of directors, who decided on December 13 that a 'significant cash injection' would be the only way of sustaining the company.

The minutes of the cabinet meeting state: "During 2016 and 2017 the business had developed offers that were taken to market and refined accordingly with customer feedback. Unfortunately, it had not been possible to scale the activity in accordance with initial targets.

"Vale Commerce had been started to test if conceptually it would be possible to run subscription services for additional residential and business services and this had been achieved. However, the marketplace was congested and also challenging in terms of a subcontracting model. To make a success of the approach would require a significant cash injection.

"However, on balance and considering the viability of the business and receptiveness of the marketplace, the associated risks and costs of doing so were outweighed by the benefits. As such the Board had recommended to the Shareholder that the company trading was suspended and the company put into a dormant state.

After a first year loss of £37,000, Vale Commerce cost the council £115,000 since it's creation. In the current financial year, however, the council say the company has generated new income through the AVDC commercial team, mainly through Council to Council to sales.

They claim the income invoiced and committed would be sufficient to cover a final loan repayment to the Council to ensure the company was left without liabilities and in a neutral financial position.

In making the company 'dormant' AVDC have retained the companies assets and branding, suggesting it is possible the business could return.

Read the full report here.