A SOUTH Essex-based developer of luxury Caribbean holiday resorts which placed its sales company into administration a year ago says it is turning the business around after a "difficult year".

Harlequin Property, based in Honywood Road, Basildon, which made several redundancies in its sales arm last April, is optimistic it can continue building its resorts after work stalled.

It comes after the separate resort building company handed ownership of a property to an investor for the first time eight years after putting them on sale.

Southend Standard: Harlequin Property

HQ: Harlequin's base in Basildon

From 2006 Harlequin sold around 6,000 unbuilt properties at six planned resorts, but has built just around 300 at the Buccament Bay resort in St Vincent.

Last year it placed its sales company into administration after the Serious Fraud Office announced it was investigating the investment scheme run by Wickford couple David and Carole Ames.

The firm said one of the original investors in Buccament Bay has received full title to their cabana and will begin receiving rental returns only if the property is occupied.


A Harlequin spokesman said: “Further completions are expected. There are approximately 90 purchasers in various stages.

"After what undoubtedly has been a tough 12 months for Harlequin, this is a clear indication that the company can fulfil its obligations to purchasers and, considering the business' overall position, there is good cause for optimism.”

The firm is also confident of using Buccament Bay, which has won a number of industry awards, to secure loans from an international hotel management company to build the remaining resorts.

The Serious Fraud Office is still investigating the scheme.