INVESTORS in a controversial Lancashire-run parking scheme have launched a crowdfunding bid to back a legal action designed to recoup millions of pounds.

Administrators were called in for four companies run by Padiham-based Park First at the start of July, for sites close to Glasgow, Gatwick and Luton airports.

Under several similar schemes, parking spaces near the airports were sold off at £20,000 a time, with investors promised returns of between eight and 12 per cent on their outlay.

Bosses at Park First have been in conflict with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since at least 2017, with the regulator ruling that the company was not authorised to provide financial services.

Investors were given two options - those involved with Park First Freeholds and Help Me Park Gatwick were offered a 'buyback' arrangement, to return their cash.

Meanwhile those connected with Park First Glasgow and Park First Gatwick were told they could enter lifetime leaseback deals.

But the FCA triggered the administration amid concerns none of the four companies had sufficient funds to meet those obligations.

Toby Whittaker, director of Park First Freeholds, said then that £33million had been committed by the company to cover those duties.

This is thought to have come from the sale of a car park at Luton Airport earlier this year.

"It is the directors' firm intention that the car parks will return to being run for the benefit of Lifetime Leaseholders as soon as possible," he added.

Now it has been confirmed that around 80 investors in Glasgow have instructed a London legal firm, Trainer, Shepherd, Phillips, Melin, Haynes, to pursue a mis-selling claim.

In an appeal on the CrowdJustice website, they say they were sold parking spaces with a guaranteed return on their investment for six years.

They added: "Far from seeing the promised returns, we never saw any return on our investment. We have now been told that we will not be able to take our money out of the scheme either. Many of us have lost our entire pensions."

The investors are looking to raise £21,000 to support of a group litigation order. Park First declined to comment.