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Piers Read will be giving two very carefully judged presentations in the Town Hall of his vision for how the Arts Centre will operate after refurbishment.

I say carefully judged. Each is set to last one hour, and the audience must fit into the council chamber. Tickets are limited to 99 in each case (Tickets can be secured via Eventbrite and are available here for the 23 November and here for the 25 November.). I have been to one of the more private presentations and the 7 of us did not have time to ask our questions in an hour. Perhaps he'll over run.

If you go you will no doubt have excellent questions of your own, but if not here are some prompts:

  1. Would you be happy to set up the community steering group now, while design changes to the building are still possible, rather than wait until 6 months before opening, when the , probably toothless committee, will find everything already cast in stone?
  2. Can I be on your steering committee, now , please?
  3. Is the Custard Factory an Arts Centre?
  4. Was the Wimbledon Film Studio an Arts Centre? What is the nature of your joint venture with FEC?
  5. Have you ever run an Arts Centre?
  6. What do you mean by "sweat the asset"?
  7. Is the Hat District in Luton an Arts Centre? Is the Hat District in Luton a success or a work in progress? Is the Hat District in Luton run entirely without public subsidy as a private company or does it have charitable status?
  8. Do you still work for Allied London?
  9. Your CV on Linked-In is very strong on 'growth', 'enterprise' , 'commercial' but not so much on Arts. How do you see the "strong cultural community" developing in Hornsey Town Hall in ways which it has not already done so?

Tags: HTHbaddeal, dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, planning application, tax haven

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I don't see the point of questions 3, 4a, 5, 7 & 8. He's already got the job, whatever his previous experience.

The answer to Q.4b is that a joint venture company has been set up called FEC Time + Space (UK) Ltd. Directors are Piers Read, John Connolly and two FEC people based in Hong Kong. Its shareholders are Crouch End (FEC) Ltd (70%) and The Time + Space Co. Ltd (30%).  

Thanks for that Rob.

It's interesting that it's Crouch End (FEC) Ltd that has entered the JV. Until now it was thought that Crouch End (FEC) was simply the company tasked with delivering the development, whereas a separate company, Hornsey TH (FEC) (registered in the BVIs) would be taking the headlease. At least so Haringey told me.

It's important to see which entity takes the headlease come the new year and thereby signs the community use and access agreement. Important, of course, because all the community groups (and anybody who might want to run something on the square) will want to know who's boss.

Hornsey TH (FEC) changed its name to Crouch End (FEC) a year ago. So it's the same company, a wholly -owned subsidiary of an FEC vehicle registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Yes, that's what you'd be led to believe looking at Companies House. The entities were not clear, so I enquired with Haringey and received the following back in May -

Q: Is it possible to unravel these terms and confirm which company have signed the various contracts, whether there's a version of the CUA with any updated names on it, and which company is in line for the lease? 

A: The only document that has been executed at the current time is the Development Agreement (DA). The parties to this Agreement are the Council (1), Crouch End (FEC) Limited as developer (2) and Far East Consortium International Limited as guarantor (3). The Community Use and Access Agreement (CUA) has not yet been executed – there is simply a draft of the CUA appended to the DA. The definition of the CUA in the DA states that this will be in, or substantially in, the form attached to the DA. When the CUA is formally entered into therefore (at the point the DA becomes unconditional) it will be granted to the same entity that takes the Town Hall Headlease as tenant which at the current point in time is anticipated to be Hornsey TH (FEC) Limited.

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