Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 17:55 UK

TV Secret Millionaire is bankrupt

Chek Whyte
Mr Whyte made his money from construction and development

A Nottingham businessman who featured in the TV series Secret Millionaire has been declared bankrupt, lawyers say.

Property developer Chek Whyte is believed to owe £30m and had attempted to make arrangements to continue trading while paying off his debts.

The self-made millionaire appeared on the Channel 4 TV series in 2007 and gave money to deserving causes in Salford, Greater Manchester.

His bankruptcy is thought to be one of the biggest cases of its kind.

Mr Whyte made his fortune from construction and development, renovating dilapidated listed buildings such as Colwick Hall and Clifton Hall in Nottingham.

Bankruptcy order

Manchester law firm Pannone LLP, acting on behalf of creditor Halls Furnishings Ltd, said: "Mr Whyte had put forward proposals for an individual voluntary arrangement which were withdrawn.

"And therefore, as no further proposals were put to creditors, the court made the bankruptcy order.

"Mr Whyte's exposure on TV has portrayed him as an altruistic individual but sadly his business dealings have left him owing suppliers tens of thousands of pounds and these businesses have to take steps to recover monies owed to them."

Speaking in July, Mr Whyte told the BBC he aimed to repay his debts.

"I will do my utmost to get them paid, that is my only goal," he said.

"I'm going to work for the next so many years... five years, to get everybody paid. If I can get them paid in the short-term rather than the long-term it's better for everybody."

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