A MARRIED couple who run The Convent have been accused of not paying performers on time, have had dozens of now dissolved or liquidated companies under different names and have both been declared bankrupt, it has emerged.

Last year the SNJ reported on claims from former employees at the music venue, boutique hotel and private members’ club in South Woodchester that they had not been paid their wages.

An employment tribunal ordered the ‘world-leading’ music venue to pay a former employee thousands of pounds, prompting other ex-members of staff to come forward and claim they were also owed money.

Now the Musicians Union is warning artists not to perform at The Convent, following several complaints from its members that they have not yet been paid by the duo who run the venue, Matt and Charlotte Roberts.

A spokesman for the union said: “We would advise any musicians not to accept any gigs at The Convent at this time. There has been a recent history of non-payment of fees. This is currently being dealt with by our legal team.”

In the last two weeks a number of artists and bands have contacted the SNJ to claim they had not been paid for their performances after four months of waiting, with unpaid fees rising as high as £3,000.

Now fresh investigations into Mr and Mrs Robert’s complicated financial history has revealed they have both been officially declared bankrupt, and between them have registered for 78 different companies at The Convent.

Despite their personal financial insolvency, the couple continue to run the active business, which also claims to be the world’s first and only live music venue broadcasting online.

The near-derelict 18th Century former Catholic convent was bought for around £1.75 million in 2013.

Over the last four years it has seen a major renovation and performances from the likes of Van Morrison to Lisa Simone.

During this time, co-owner Matt Roberts has been involved in 12 companies registered at The Convent, only one of which is still recorded as active, EHF Hospitality Limited.

The other 11 have either been dissolved or liquidated. Mr Roberts was declared bankrupt in September 2014, and the discharge has been suspended indefinitely.

Meanwhile, according to the government’s Companies House website, Charlotte Roberts has been involved in 52 different companies registered at the venue under the name Charlotte Thornley A’Court ROBERTS.

Of these only three are currently active; Convent (Stroud) Ltd, The Convent in the Hills 2 Limited and The Convent in the Hills Ltd.

She is then registered to another 14 companies at the venue under the name Charlotte THORNLEY A’COURT ROBERTS, of which only one is active.

Another alias, Charlotte Thornley A’Court Dutton, is registered as also being involved in two dissolved companies.

And yet another slightly different name, Charlotte Thornlky Acourt Dutton, is registered to another two dissolved companies.

Under the title of Events Chief Executive Officer at The Convent, she too was declared personally bankrupt on July 25, 2016.

Despite both owners being declared insolvent and allegedly not paying performers, the venue is still up and running and scheduling a programme of gigs over the next few months.

However, there is no suggestion that Mr and Mrs Roberts are trading unlawfully.

Meanwhile, the couple have also launched a crowdfunding appeal to attract 1000 partners to donate £5,000 to help fund the “next phase of development”.

It asks donors to help fund a new company to own the freehold and operations and “share in the future growth and profitability”.

This crowd-funded company would acquire the seven individual freeholds on the site for their value and lease them to the hotel operational company for a market rent.

Supporters are asked to contact a company called WSN Investments, which describes itself as giving: “High Net Worth and Sophisticated Investors access to exceptional investments that are generally unavailable to the vast majority of people”.

It promises a “hands off” investment of £5,000 will give a “guaranteed minimum return of 5 per cent per annum”, in addition to complementary membership and investor bookings discounts.

A brochure also claims that the crowdfunding effort already has 250 “high net worth” investors and that when the company is fully operational the return on investment (ROI) is projected at 20 per cent per annum.

WSN Investments, set up in 2015, has only one “investment opportunity” – The Convent.

It is not a current registered company it’s a business name they may continue using it under their own names if they were already trading under it when they went bankrupt.

Alongside this scheme, the couple have also previously been involved in the Convent in the Hills – “a new exclusive eco village” development investment opportunity providing homes in Norway.

This company was set up in 2014 and is still registered to Mrs Roberts, but now has accounts almost a year overdue. Notices on investment pages say this venture is “no longer available” and nothing was ever built.

For this scheme, investors needed to put down a minimum of £15,000, for which they would have got shares in the company.

For their cash, investors were promised a 20 per cent profit within a year – similar to the crowd funded appeal at The Convent.

Simon Bennett, who used to live in the area and looked into the Convent’s financial past, said: “The bottom line here is that Matt Roberts and Charlotte Thornley A’Court Roberts are bankrupt but still have active companies registered at Companies House.

“Employee’s and artists have not been paid at The Convent. It is absolutely unbelievable and completely unprofessional.

“On top of this they are asking people to invest large amounts of money into the business to keep it afloat. The investment of £5,000 for a five per cent return is ridiculous.

“They also advise that once the business is fully operational, the return of investment will be 20 per cent. Of course, this will never happen. I just don’t want anyone to lose their money from this scheme.”

The SNJ made several attempts to contact Mr and Mrs Roberts and The Convent to comment, but received no response.