TV property expert Kevin McCloud has spoken of his "heartache and pain" as he tried to avoid investors losing most of the money they had put in his eco homes project.
The Happiness Architecture Beauty (HAB) homes project has been beset by delays, faults and large debts and he's been unable to save it.
In an interview with the Guardian, he said: "I stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have lost money.
"I will, of course, do everything in my power to improve the current situation."
Small investors who put £2.4 million into the 2017 bond are set to lose between 74% and 97% of their money in a worst-case scenario. Others, who gave £1.9m of their cash six years ago, said they have "not received a penny."
One investor said: "I'm disappointed that what I saw as an idealistic project seems to be collapsing on a sour note, with the original directors having departed and investors seemingly left to bear the entire financial burden of a failed enterprise."
However, McCloud is also affected as he is the largest investor in the project. HAB Housing was established in 2007 as an attempt to "challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK."
The business went to the public to raise cash for projects in 2013 and 2017, setting a world crowdfunding record six years ago with £1.9 million raised.
But the January 2017 bond investors have now been sent letters saying they could lose the majority of the money they put in.
The company proposed restructuring the bonds which means investors would not see any of their cash back until 2024 at the earliest.
Mr McCloud said: "I've learnt that business is really tough and that, even if you have an inspiring vision, skilled team and strong backing, other circumstances can pull the rug from under you."
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