Newham Residents ‘Short Changed’ By Limited Benefits and No Regeneration Following Casino Licence Being Awarded To Aspers by Newham Council

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City & Eastern believes London Borough of Newham’s decision to award a large casino licence to Aspers at the Westfield Stratford East Shopping Centre significantly fails to deliver regeneration and financial benefits to the residents of Newham, does not fulfill the requirements to the community of Newham set out as conditions for a successful bid and is not consistent with the Gambling Act 2005 which, at its core, is intended to deliver urban regeneration.

“C&E's bid had a clear, substantial and transparent financial benefit to the residents of Newham. This included an initial cash injection of £7.5 million, a minimum annual guaranteed payment to the Borough of £2m and 1,200 full time jobs."

City & Eastern (‘C&E’), the lead developer for the Great Eastern Quays Casino, noting the article in The Mail on Sunday (27th March 2011) ‘Legal threat over shopping centre casino’, believes that the London Borough of Newham’s decision to award the large casino licence to Aspers at the Westfield Stratford East Shopping Centre is a failed opportunity to regenerate run down areas of the borough – regeneration and benefits to the community being the corner stone of the brief to prospective bidders; not withstanding the aim of the Gambling Act 2005 which, at its core, is intended to deliver urban regeneration.

As a consequence, Great Eastern Quays believes that the people of Newham have been ‘short changed’. Furthermore, it is baffled as to why Newham would decide to put the casino in the part of the Borough that least needs further regeneration, having already had that benefit delivered by the development of Westfield Stratford East.

C&E does not believe that the winning bid has fulfilled the requirements to the community of Newham set out as conditions for a successful bid, with regeneration being right at the heart of what the granting of a large casino licence requires.

Fergus Kinloch, Director of C&E commented:

“Our bid had a clear, substantial and transparent financial benefit to the residents of Newham. This included an initial cash injection of £7.5 million, a minimum annual guaranteed payment to the Borough of £2m and 1,200 full time jobs.

“The £250 million scheme would have significantly regenerated another area of Newham, a core requirement of the bidding process. It would also have supplied three times more full time jobs than the winning bid.”

ENDS

Media enquiries:

SPS/IKON Associates

Adrian Shaw
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Simon Parker-Smith
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E: spsmarketing(at)clara(dot)co(dot)uk

Notes for editors:

1.    The Great Eastern Quays Casino bid consortium comprises:

City & Eastern Limited (‘C&E’) as lead developer plus Notting Hill Housing Group (one of the UK’s largest housing associations), Group Partouche (Europe’s biggest casino company with over 50 large casinos), Stadium Developments (the developer behind the successful Arsenal stadium development) and ARC (a gaming and resort development specialist).

2.    The Gambling Act 2005
At its core, the Gambling Act 2005 was intended to "regenerate" and the benefits of casinos for regeneration were addressed in several papers written by the DCMS. Originally 66 Boroughs put in applications for these large and small licenses based upon/hinging on their need for and ability to create regeneration. The selected Boroughs were those showing more ability to create regeneration and the need for it.

3.    Benefits to the Newham community from Great Eastern Quays which were proposed and guaranteed:

1.    One off payment of £7.5 million in cash
2.    Guaranteed annual minimum contribution to the Borough of £2m or 5% of gross gaming     revenue for next 25 years, whichever is the greater.
3.    £250,000 million in cash for education and training annually for next 25 years
4.    £150K in cash for transport (particularly the water bus) annually for next 25 years
5.    At least 25% of the construction jobs to be guaranteed for Newham residents
6.    At least 25% of the total casino jobs to be guaranteed for Newham residents
7.    1,200 full time jobs in total (excludes non permanent jobs for the construction) in the overall Great Eastern Quays complex

4.    The Great Eastern Quays bid comprises:

  •     A £250 Million project - fully funded with guarantees from two of the UK’s most high profile property developers and investors.
  •     A total development area of 116,800 m2. (1,257,000 sq ft).
  •     A 130,000 sq ft casino & entertainment complex: comprising a casino (30,000 sq ft), 2,200 seat multi-purpose venue, bars and restaurants - The casino gaming area represents under 4% of the space of the overall scheme.
  •     A 15,000 sq ft banqueting/conference centre for 750 people.
  •     A 60,000 sq ft, 220 room hotel.
  •     Dedicated TV studios for live broadcast of live events taking place in the venue.
  •     A 50,000 sq ft 100-stall, part open air and part covered riverside public “street” market.
  •     An 8,000 sq ft 120 seat, small community theatre.
  •     720 homes, including 230 affordable units, comprising of one to four bedroom apartments.
  •     Studio/workshops.
  •     Marina facilities – additional mooring and new marina club house.
  •     Road and transport improvements.
  •     River Bus extension to new jetty at Gallions Reach.
  •     Internal water taxi service running services from City Airport, Canning Town and Excel.
  •     Kaskelot historic (“slave”) ship to be moored at GEQ as a museum and visitor centre.

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