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Investors start legal action over unfinished projects which have seen millions of pounds disappear

Seven people who invested their savings in ventures promoted by the entrepreneur Gavin Woodhouse have applied to the High Court to have four of his companies placed into administration.

On Wednesday, an investigation by ITV News and the Guardian highlighted serious concerns about Mr Woodhouse’s business interests.

Creditors issued an administration application requesting the appointment of Phil Duffy and Sarah Bell, directors of the insolvency firm Duff & Phelps, as joint administrators.

The court documents focus on Afan Valley Limited (an adventure resort) and MBi Clifton Moor Limited; MBi Walsden Care Limited and MBi Hawthorn Care Limited - three companies Gavin Woodhouse set up to build cares homes.

The adventure resort project in Wales is estimated at a cost of £200m. Credit: Afan Valley Adventure Resort/Northern Powerhouse Developments

Phil Duffy from Duff & Phelps said: “The latest publicly filed accounts of those four companies show them to all be insolvent on a balance sheet basis so creditors are concerned that they are not going to get their money back.”

The administration application may not succeed.

A hearing is likely to be held at the High Court in the next few weeks and a judge will decide whether or not to grant the orders.

Gavin Woodhouse claims to be a financier who has “helped turn countless financial aspirations into realities”.

In the last six years he’s raised more than £80 million from amateur investors to build care homes, and acquire and refurbish hotels.

But many of those projects are incomplete, some have barely started and around £15 million appears to be missing.

Gavin Woodhouse denies any wrongdoing.

His company, Northern Powerhouse Developments, said: "We remain committed to delivering the projects we have promised our investors.

"We have up to 600, the vast majority of which have not voiced concerns.”

Mr Woodhouse’s latest venture, the Afan Valley Adventure Resort, is being backed by the Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

ITV News and the Guardian understand Mr Woodhouse is paying £180,000 for the endorsement.

Woodhouse is raising money from investors to build the £200 million development.

In March, Neath Port Talbot Council gave conditional outline planning permission for the Afan Valley project.

On Thursday night Bear Grylls Survival Academy announced it is conducting a “full internal review of the relationship” and will “take all necessary steps to ensure the integrity” of its business.

Stephen Kinnock MP met Gavin Woodhouse last year and gave him his backing for the Afan Valley scheme, which is in his constituency.

Mr Kinnock has now said Mr Woodhouse has some explaining to do.

“I want to see rapid clarity and assurances that this is a sustainable and watertight business model,” he told ITV News.

A spokesperson for Northern Powerhouse Developments, Mr Woodhouse’s company, said: “We are aware of the requirements of Neath Port Talbot council [on Afan Valley] and we recognise that full planning permission will be granted on condition of further financial and legal obligations being met.

“We are on track to deliver what we have proposed. Afan Valley is still very much a sustainable and watertight business model”.