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You do have a case against the designer based on breach of contract. He didn’t provide what he was contracted to do and you can sue him if he refuses to repay you. Arguably you could claim other losses, such as any loss of business as a result of the sit not being completed although the calculation of your losses in that regard might be more difficult to prove. You can certainly claim everything you paid as his part work didn’t provide what was envisaged by the contract. You can sue online via money claim online. You can claim the current legal rate of interest. Happy to discuss further. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
Further to my note above here is the link to moneyclaim online: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. In addition the Legal rate of interest is 8%.
The email correspondence is perfectly good evidence in a commercial case like this.