Well, contrary to an earlier post, it's not entirely speculation since HMRC has now succeeded in obtaining a Bankruptcy Order, as Adam has pointed out, against Mike Basman in the sum of £300k alleged VAT due. The "administrative problem", as Richard puts it, would seem to be that VAT was reckoned to be due but unpaid. Whether this was a total failure to pay VAT at all or an insufficiency is not 100% clear. However, unless the law has changed since I last looked, invoices from VAT-registered businesses are required to identify the VAT element and also quote the seller's VAT registration number. My Bourne End namesake clarifies that Mike, trading as UKCC, was a VAT-registered supplier so any omission here was an extremely serious business failing, as events have proved, through failing to charge the VAT it was required to charge.
Bankruptcy is at best tiresome and at worst detrimentally life-changing so my sympathies to Mike and anyone else affected. But, prima facie, this pinpoints the liability for the alleged £300k debt and opens the door to any other person or organisation able and willing to take over (Mike will probably be under constraints as to what he can and cannot undertake) the project. There is absolutely no reason for the ECF to donate voluntary sums to HMRC (and, in fact, every reason why it should not!) and I would have every confidence in the ECF reaching the same decision.
However, and finally, it's entirely conceivable that the £300k relates only to alleged VAT up to a specific date, leaving open the possibility that HMRC could come back for a second bite for more recent VAT, so any new person or organisation should probably take considerable care to distance themselves from UKCC's earlier existence.