De-Risky Business – Battersea Power Station £1.6bn sale?

What is really going on at Battersea Power Station? The developers hope to sell to two  Malaysian saving fund investors, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Employees Provident Fund Board (EPF) for £1.6 Billion. However PNB and EPF already indirectly own a large stake in the developers.

The press is focussing on the record £1.6bn price tag making it the most expensive property purchase ever in London. Given the state of the pound post Brexit, the declining property market, the seriously troubled UK construction industry and Apple’s history of fickle “commitments” it might be London’s worse ever property purchase.

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Battersea Power Station Sunset

Shareholdings in Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd will remain unchanged between Sime Darby Property Berhad (40%), SP Setia (40%) and EPF (20%). PNB owns a stake in Battersea Power Station through its 55% shareholding in SP Setia and stake in Sime Darby, following its acquisition last summer of Sime Darby’s entire interest in its property arm, Seriemas Development Sdn Bhd (SDSB).  However the project will still be managed by same old Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) who say despite spiralling costs the deal will “guarantee the restoration of the building was completed” something they have always insisted was never in doubt.

A cynic might argue that was is really behind this manoeuvring is the off-loading of an ailing white elephant, profit forecasts have gone from 20% to just 8% since 2012, building costs have doubled, onto the poor Malaysian pensioners who have savings in PNB and EPF. De-risking or handing over future losses to Malaysian public money.

Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

Demolition by Stealth. Perhaps we are lucky the (fake) chimneys are up on what’s left of the grade 2* listed building but sadly the wonderful brown Blockley brick east and west walls are half demolished, to be replaced with “pre-fab brickwork” according to Brian Barnes of Battersea Power Station Community Group despite the assurances, made in Selling an Icon, by sleepy old Historic England.

 

Read more about Battersea Power Station on Spectacle’s blog

Watch Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon on video on demand or DVD.

Other articles:

https://www.theguardian.com/…/battersea-power-station-to-be…

http://www.costar.co.uk/…/Malaysian-duo-to-buy-Apples-HQ-a…/

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

The Public Relations Guru

Being in a Reality TV programme can be psychologically damaging. To make sure you can financially benefit from your exploitation it is a good idea to have a public relations agent. He will look over product endorsement contracts for you and make sure when your private life is exposed in the press it is on the front page.

The PR consultant will oversee your career

The PR consultant will oversee your career

What do  you think he is advising the contestant??

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

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Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

The Victim Contestant

In this picture the contestant is trying hard to win and keep his dignity. He is thinking about the fame and fortune that will follow. How the woman at the check out is going to say something like “‘Ere weren’t you on telly last night?”

How am I doing?

How am I doing?

What else is he thinking? Any ideas?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

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Studio Audience

The nice people at the Television company invite their  friends and family to be in the studio audience. Being in a TV audience is very easy but these days you need to know how to Whoop! like an American, which some English people find hard to do. You can practice this at home before you go “on set”.

Two reality TV fans are in the audience

Two reality TV fans in the audience

Can you think what they are saying?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

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The Director

In this scene the director is very animated and holds his hands up to form a frame so he can see what the image will look like on television.

Give me victim- Thats good-ACTION!

Give me victim- Thats good-ACTION!

Before he shouts “Action!” he gives words of encouragement to the contestants. Can you think of what he is saying?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

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Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV- Poverty and the Media

People in the early twenty first century thought nothing of watching the insane for entertainment. It was seen as quite normal. People used to joke that it was often hard to decide who was the madder, the actors, the crew or the viewers. There are stories of the celebs leaving the asylum and the wrong people being kept inside.

Reality TV studioHave a look at this “behind the scenes” image of a reality TV studio shoot and if you have any idea for a caption add it below.

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

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Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Marsh farm challenge to the BBC

Formal Complaint to BBC

Dear BBC complaints team

I am writing to complain about the serious and damaging misrepresentations made by John Waite on Face the Facts regarding the Marsh Farm estate in Luton and our efforts to regenerate our community as part of the governments New Deal for Communities programme.

There are many cases of serious misrepresentation of facts throughout the entire programme but for purposes of initiating my complaint I will focus on the most serious and damaging wrong assertion made in the programme.

Waite gave the listener totally inaccurate information relating to the Marsh Farm Community Development Trust and its investments as part of the New Deal for Communities project, contrasting this alleged lack of investments with the New Deal programme in Norwich which was presented as a success story with £15 million capital investments and an annual return on those investments of between £3-400,000 per annum.

To emphasise the point the presenter John Waite said:

“An objective which – at least in Norwich – is well on the way to being met. Everyone I spoke to there said the £30 million of NDC funding so far released had been very well spent. Contrast that to Luton, just a hundred miles away, and its Marsh Farm estate, and the story’s a very different one. No smart new business centre there – just a tired old shopping centre.”

The programme goes on to give the clear impression that Marsh Farm New Deal has invested £27 million with nothing to show for it with regard to assets or sustainable project potential.

This could not be further from the truth.

Whilst doing his report from the Purley Centre, Waite was in fact standing directly opposite the largest single community owned building in the UK – a 120,000 sq ft former factory sitting directly in the centre of our community – which was paid for, equipped, brought into use and is kept in operation by New Deal funding. It used to be known as the ‘Coulters Factory’ and is now known as the ‘CERC’.

The sign at the front clearly says ‘The Marsh Farm Community Enterprise and Resource Centre’ and if the journalist researching this had taken a glance at Companies House records they show the existence of a company called ‘The Peoples Property Company Marsh Farm’ which holds a single asset – the CERC  building I am referring to.

MFCDT set up the Peoples Property Company when the building was purchased and the MFCDT capacity building team is currently preparing the ground for opening up membership of the company board beyond its current membership (resident representatives and partners) to the entire community, with a view to post NDC assets management strategies etc.

The CERC  currently houses many “very smart” new spaces including a new employment agency, Princes Trust offices, brand new computer suites serviced by the local colleges, drugs outreach offices, community outreach offices, fully equipped cafeteria, space for local small businesses, a number of operating social enterprises, office space for Marsh Farm Trust regeneration team, community police rooms, a neighbourhood warden base, victim support offices, a bricklaying college, car valeting service, off road driving project for local youth, a community radio station base and more.

MFCDT ownership of the building has also made possible (by provision of low cost or free space) the prospect of generating dozens of sustainable new jobs in a range of sustainable new social enterprises delivering goods and services to our community and beyond. These jobs would be prioritized for take up by members of our community who are most in need – none of which would be possible without having purchased the invaluable asset that is the Marsh Farm CERC.

Whilst there is still work to be done to ensure post NDC sustainability of the CERC we do have an achievable strategy here on Marsh Farm which is clearly set out in the public document that is the MFCDT 10 year Delivery Plan.

Further to all of this, MFCDT are in discussion with Luton Council about devolution of some of our environmental services that are currently delivered by the council on a town wide scale. The thinking at Marsh Farm Trust has always been that localised delivery could radically improve the service – hence the decision to invest in purchase of our Community Enterprise and Resource Centre. None of the above would be even up for consideration if not for the investment made by MFCDT in the asset.

Just 6 months ago I co-authored an article for leading regeneration magazine ‘Third Sector’ with Dr Gareth Potts, Head of Research and Policy for the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) setting out this strategy. Its the availability of all of this information – whether it’s a massive building sitting right in front of John Waite’s own eyes or easily researchable public documents – which makes the misrepresentations all the more shocking. I thought Face the Facts and BBC Radio 4 have a reputation for better reporting than this absolute nonsense which has been broadcast both today and on Friday.

I am happy to forward the article I co-wrote with Dr Potts and any other relevant information to help you with your deliberations, but would ask that this complaint be dealt with speedily as the damage could not come at a worse time for our community building efforts here in Marsh Farm

Glenn Jenkins
Resident, Marsh Farm

To read a full transcript of the program Face the Facts or listen to the original Radio 4 broadcast please click here