'I'm determined to build creative business hub'

COLCHESTER’S regeneration boss says he is committed to turning a former town centre police station into a creative business centre despite a delay in European funding to pay for it.

Nick Barlow, borough councillor responsible for regeneration, said even if an application for funding is turned down to convert the former police station, in Queen Street, into a creative business hub, he is determined to find another way to pay for it.

Colchester Council owns the building and has applied to the European Regional Development Fund for grant funding.

In total, it needs about £2million for the project.

Mr Barlow said: “The council is committed one way or another to build the creative business hub.

“We are still waiting to hear from the European Regional Development Fund and the plans is still to turn it into a creative business centre.

“If that’s not the case and we’re turned down, we will look at other sources of funding.

“There are a number of opportunities through government and other European organisations we could explore.

“Because we have got a lot of interest in that area, there are other things coming forward which could help with that development, such as securing section 106 money.”

Comments (34)

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8:38pm Wed 22 Jan 14

jim_bo says...

We've had a really bad idea but were determined to see it through!
We've had a really bad idea but were determined to see it through! jim_bo
  • Score: -2

8:45pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

The council obsession with building white elephants regardless of the under funding of front line services. They keep acquiring buildings in Queen Street to "attract developers" and then nothing happens because there are no cash rich developers with money to burn on unviable projects. When Curzon cinemas publicly admits they are not going ahead it will be another humiliation for this arrogant elected dictatorship.
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A government dept privately told me they regarded Colchester Council as a basket case. The latest example is the refusal of government to fund the fabled park and ride. Sure, Essex County Council can use taxpayers money but it will mean more cuts in frontline services.
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We cannot afford to keep the Firstsite parasites in their indulgent lifestyle based on open ended public funding. Time to end these ludicrous "contemporary art" exhibitions and bring in commercial exhibition teams with freedom to make the VAF and surrounding land pay. When is the town hall social club going to wake up to reality?
The council obsession with building white elephants regardless of the under funding of front line services. They keep acquiring buildings in Queen Street to "attract developers" and then nothing happens because there are no cash rich developers with money to burn on unviable projects. When Curzon cinemas publicly admits they are not going ahead it will be another humiliation for this arrogant elected dictatorship. . A government dept privately told me they regarded Colchester Council as a basket case. The latest example is the refusal of government to fund the fabled park and ride. Sure, Essex County Council can use taxpayers money but it will mean more cuts in frontline services. . We cannot afford to keep the Firstsite parasites in their indulgent lifestyle based on open ended public funding. Time to end these ludicrous "contemporary art" exhibitions and bring in commercial exhibition teams with freedom to make the VAF and surrounding land pay. When is the town hall social club going to wake up to reality? Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 1

9:01am Thu 23 Jan 14

Bert_Stimpson says...

So is this replacing the Plan B 'Queen Street portfolio' article that magically disappeared Gazette cubs? Did CBC not like it? Regeneration efforts in Colchester are a joke. They seem determined to chuck good money after bad on vanity projects while ignoring the real problems facing the town on a daily basis. Maybe the Gazette should talk to some residents, or you could just carry on being spineless and run whatever drivel you are spoon fed that day...
So is this replacing the Plan B 'Queen Street portfolio' article that magically disappeared Gazette cubs? Did CBC not like it? Regeneration efforts in Colchester are a joke. They seem determined to chuck good money after bad on vanity projects while ignoring the real problems facing the town on a daily basis. Maybe the Gazette should talk to some residents, or you could just carry on being spineless and run whatever drivel you are spoon fed that day... Bert_Stimpson
  • Score: 4

9:46am Thu 23 Jan 14

Dorian says...

Bert I think you will find on examination that this is not a vanity project. Its a business project. Latest figures show that one in fourteen of us are working, earning money for the local economy in the creative sector - which encompasses advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides. Its a huge employer - possibly Colchester's biggest. But there is a great shortage of space in which to work and the old police station project aims to provide a space where their businesses can thrive, while at the same time reducing the existing problems in our notorious Queen Street area by taking a drinking house out of the equation.. The businesses will pay rent and contribute very much to our income and quality of life as a community. Whats not to like about that?If it were a hub of accountants and solicitors, there would not be a peep of protest,.
Bert I think you will find on examination that this is not a vanity project. Its a business project. Latest figures show that one in fourteen of us are working, earning money for the local economy in the creative sector - which encompasses advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides. Its a huge employer - possibly Colchester's biggest. But there is a great shortage of space in which to work and the old police station project aims to provide a space where their businesses can thrive, while at the same time reducing the existing problems in our notorious Queen Street area by taking a drinking house out of the equation.. The businesses will pay rent and contribute very much to our income and quality of life as a community. Whats not to like about that?If it were a hub of accountants and solicitors, there would not be a peep of protest,. Dorian
  • Score: -3

10:17am Thu 23 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Yes, only another two million of public funds and Dorian and his "creative sector" can while their lives away finding even more creative ways of disposing of taxpayers' money. It is shameful to attack nightclubs, accountants and solicitors just because they provide a service people actually want.
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If only those so keen on their "creative sector" would put their own money into it rather than expecting public bodies to use taxpayer funding to create more white elephants. We are overrun with these bloated pachyderms and it is time for a cull to make way for viable business.
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Perhaps Dorian has forgotten that the Firstsite run VAF pays no rent, it gets a huge public subsidy on top of the council guaranteeing to cover most of the expensive maintenance for this structurally deficient carbuncle.
Yes, only another two million of public funds and Dorian and his "creative sector" can while their lives away finding even more creative ways of disposing of taxpayers' money. It is shameful to attack nightclubs, accountants and solicitors just because they provide a service people actually want. . If only those so keen on their "creative sector" would put their own money into it rather than expecting public bodies to use taxpayer funding to create more white elephants. We are overrun with these bloated pachyderms and it is time for a cull to make way for viable business. . Perhaps Dorian has forgotten that the Firstsite run VAF pays no rent, it gets a huge public subsidy on top of the council guaranteeing to cover most of the expensive maintenance for this structurally deficient carbuncle. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

11:06am Thu 23 Jan 14

Dorian says...

Mr. H: I None of these comments are relevant., but certainly predictable. Small business in the (unnecessarily apostrophised) creative sector - as much a real industrial sector as engineering or business services - are real businesses with real incomes and real profits offering real services that people want, otherwise how come they have survived and thrived so far? , They would love to put their money into paying rent for somewhere to work together, grow their businesses and contribute to the economy. As for accountants, its "as well as" not "instead of", they already have sucessful business hubs too, for example Hawkins Road, George Williams Way and so on. The money you so object to is incoming cash to help with our local economy and keep your rates down and if we didn't get it some other town will, is that what you want?
Mr. H: I None of these comments are relevant., but certainly predictable. Small business in the (unnecessarily apostrophised) creative sector - as much a real industrial sector as engineering or business services - are real businesses with real incomes and real profits offering real services that people want, otherwise how come they have survived and thrived so far? , They would love to put their money into paying rent for somewhere to work together, grow their businesses and contribute to the economy. As for accountants, its "as well as" not "instead of", they already have sucessful business hubs too, for example Hawkins Road, George Williams Way and so on. The money you so object to is incoming cash to help with our local economy and keep your rates down and if we didn't get it some other town will, is that what you want? Dorian
  • Score: -2

12:15pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Bert_Stimpson says...

Dorian wrote:
Bert I think you will find on examination that this is not a vanity project. Its a business project. Latest figures show that one in fourteen of us are working, earning money for the local economy in the creative sector - which encompasses advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides. Its a huge employer - possibly Colchester's biggest. But there is a great shortage of space in which to work and the old police station project aims to provide a space where their businesses can thrive, while at the same time reducing the existing problems in our notorious Queen Street area by taking a drinking house out of the equation.. The businesses will pay rent and contribute very much to our income and quality of life as a community. Whats not to like about that?If it were a hub of accountants and solicitors, there would not be a peep of protest,.
Doris, you've been churning out cloud cuckoo land statistics about the value of the creative industries for years now. Didn't you write a report saying how great firsts*ite would be years ago? Pull your head out of the sand man.

There is plenty of empty office space available in Colchester to rent for commercially viable creative businesses. This is a vanity project, a drain on public funds and is not needed.

Nick Barlow is floundering. I do wonder if the Gazette were asked to pull the earlier article. Amazing, if they were asked. Even more incredible if they did pull it when asked.
[quote][p][bold]Dorian[/bold] wrote: Bert I think you will find on examination that this is not a vanity project. Its a business project. Latest figures show that one in fourteen of us are working, earning money for the local economy in the creative sector - which encompasses advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides. Its a huge employer - possibly Colchester's biggest. But there is a great shortage of space in which to work and the old police station project aims to provide a space where their businesses can thrive, while at the same time reducing the existing problems in our notorious Queen Street area by taking a drinking house out of the equation.. The businesses will pay rent and contribute very much to our income and quality of life as a community. Whats not to like about that?If it were a hub of accountants and solicitors, there would not be a peep of protest,.[/p][/quote]Doris, you've been churning out cloud cuckoo land statistics about the value of the creative industries for years now. Didn't you write a report saying how great firsts*ite would be years ago? Pull your head out of the sand man. There is plenty of empty office space available in Colchester to rent for commercially viable creative businesses. This is a vanity project, a drain on public funds and is not needed. Nick Barlow is floundering. I do wonder if the Gazette were asked to pull the earlier article. Amazing, if they were asked. Even more incredible if they did pull it when asked. Bert_Stimpson
  • Score: 5

12:32pm Thu 23 Jan 14

omgwtfbbq says...

we need a proper bus station back, all these new little bus stops popping up are gridlocking the town, the same with hight street and head street stops, so many have to use these stops the buses are there longer and have to queue in the road to get onto the stop again bringing traffic to a standstill.
we need a proper bus station back, all these new little bus stops popping up are gridlocking the town, the same with hight street and head street stops, so many have to use these stops the buses are there longer and have to queue in the road to get onto the stop again bringing traffic to a standstill. omgwtfbbq
  • Score: 2

3:03pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Dorian says...

Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence.
The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK.
If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit.
Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence. The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK. If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit. Dorian
  • Score: -5

3:16pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Bert_Stimpson says...

Dorian wrote:
Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence.
The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK.
If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit.
The creatives love getting creative with numbers and statistics to back up their artistic pretensions. The cultural quarter and creative hub nonsense in Colchester has gone on far too long and wasted far too much public money. (by the way, calling you Doris does not dismiss the rest of a valid argument. Only in your befuddled little artistic brain)

If these creatives have real and genuine business plans, they can stand on their own two feet and rent any commercial premises they wish (just like any other business).

If the Council want to keep digging on this creative hub nonsense, so be it. But wasting public funds on this is a joke. The firsts*ite fiasco says it all when it comes to arts, creatives and Colchester Council - waste of public money.

I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool.
[quote][p][bold]Dorian[/bold] wrote: Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence. The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK. If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit.[/p][/quote]The creatives love getting creative with numbers and statistics to back up their artistic pretensions. The cultural quarter and creative hub nonsense in Colchester has gone on far too long and wasted far too much public money. (by the way, calling you Doris does not dismiss the rest of a valid argument. Only in your befuddled little artistic brain) If these creatives have real and genuine business plans, they can stand on their own two feet and rent any commercial premises they wish (just like any other business). If the Council want to keep digging on this creative hub nonsense, so be it. But wasting public funds on this is a joke. The firsts*ite fiasco says it all when it comes to arts, creatives and Colchester Council - waste of public money. I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool. Bert_Stimpson
  • Score: -4

3:45pm Thu 23 Jan 14

wormshero says...

It's amazing how people seem to think creative industry = arts. Creative industry is money making, taxed, and therefore contributing to the economy and is therefore more of an investment than arts funding. Creative industries bring in a fair amount of money and I'm not sure what the point about them being able to rent on their own two feet is - I haven't seen anyone claim that creative businesses pay no rent on this kind of space, the investment is to redevelop it to create a hub where these companies can rent space. There's a lack of good space for it at the minute - what do people expect, companies to use empty shops in town to set up their office?
It's amazing how people seem to think creative industry = arts. Creative industry is money making, taxed, and therefore contributing to the economy and is therefore more of an investment than arts funding. Creative industries bring in a fair amount of money and I'm not sure what the point about them being able to rent on their own two feet is - I haven't seen anyone claim that creative businesses pay no rent on this kind of space, the investment is to redevelop it to create a hub where these companies can rent space. There's a lack of good space for it at the minute - what do people expect, companies to use empty shops in town to set up their office? wormshero
  • Score: 1

4:24pm Thu 23 Jan 14

bullybob says...

Bert_Stimpson wrote:
Dorian wrote:
Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence.
The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK.
If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit.
The creatives love getting creative with numbers and statistics to back up their artistic pretensions. The cultural quarter and creative hub nonsense in Colchester has gone on far too long and wasted far too much public money. (by the way, calling you Doris does not dismiss the rest of a valid argument. Only in your befuddled little artistic brain)

If these creatives have real and genuine business plans, they can stand on their own two feet and rent any commercial premises they wish (just like any other business).

If the Council want to keep digging on this creative hub nonsense, so be it. But wasting public funds on this is a joke. The firsts*ite fiasco says it all when it comes to arts, creatives and Colchester Council - waste of public money.

I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool.
you're implying rent wouldn't be at a commercial rate, nothing suggests that?
[quote][p][bold]Bert_Stimpson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dorian[/bold] wrote: Silly me! I forgot that this is not the forum for reasoned and evidenced discussion. If you have anything sensible to say then I will listen courteously, but patronising name calling really dismisses the rest of your possibly valid argument. If you dont like the statistics, by all means call them into question with some of your own and maybe you will convince me. I am always open to new evidence. The VAF and the Bus station are complete irrelevancies, We are talking about business improvement at no cost to the town, using money we otherwise wouldn't have which would have gone somewhere else in the UK. If you dont like the way public money is spent complain to the treasury, not me.I can't do anything apart from hoping that our local authority grabs whatever is going for our local benefit.[/p][/quote]The creatives love getting creative with numbers and statistics to back up their artistic pretensions. The cultural quarter and creative hub nonsense in Colchester has gone on far too long and wasted far too much public money. (by the way, calling you Doris does not dismiss the rest of a valid argument. Only in your befuddled little artistic brain) If these creatives have real and genuine business plans, they can stand on their own two feet and rent any commercial premises they wish (just like any other business). If the Council want to keep digging on this creative hub nonsense, so be it. But wasting public funds on this is a joke. The firsts*ite fiasco says it all when it comes to arts, creatives and Colchester Council - waste of public money. I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool.[/p][/quote]you're implying rent wouldn't be at a commercial rate, nothing suggests that? bullybob
  • Score: -2

4:37pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Dorian says...

Bert Stimpson wrote: I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool.

You will be waiting a long time. Im not descending to this kind of childish abuse.
Bert Stimpson wrote: I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool. You will be waiting a long time. Im not descending to this kind of childish abuse. Dorian
  • Score: -3

5:32pm Thu 23 Jan 14

wearebeingwatched says...

wormshero wrote:
It's amazing how people seem to think creative industry = arts. Creative industry is money making, taxed, and therefore contributing to the economy and is therefore more of an investment than arts funding. Creative industries bring in a fair amount of money and I'm not sure what the point about them being able to rent on their own two feet is - I haven't seen anyone claim that creative businesses pay no rent on this kind of space, the investment is to redevelop it to create a hub where these companies can rent space. There's a lack of good space for it at the minute - what do people expect, companies to use empty shops in town to set up their office?
Well said. And to add. Creative does not mean 'arts'. There are plenty of industries that fall under creative, ranging from advertising to digital media to graphic design etc.

Yes there are a plenty of commercial premises in Colchester but only a few (and potentially even less) that offer an opportunity to individuals or small companies, small offices/ workspaces at a reasonable rate to enable that business to get on its feet, once up and running these companies then move onto bigger commercial premises.

I work in the IT Sector and travel around a lot, there a number of cities/towns in this country that have used grant funding either from the UK or the EU to set up similar hubs for IT businesses. I have seen with my own eyes how these hubs help these companies get established and grow. They then move to bigger commercial premises, employing local people and paying business rates (yes I know the latter goes to central government) all contributing to the local area.

Councils, along with all their other duties, should be providing schemes like this to help with small business growth in their area. It is the only way local economies will improve.
[quote][p][bold]wormshero[/bold] wrote: It's amazing how people seem to think creative industry = arts. Creative industry is money making, taxed, and therefore contributing to the economy and is therefore more of an investment than arts funding. Creative industries bring in a fair amount of money and I'm not sure what the point about them being able to rent on their own two feet is - I haven't seen anyone claim that creative businesses pay no rent on this kind of space, the investment is to redevelop it to create a hub where these companies can rent space. There's a lack of good space for it at the minute - what do people expect, companies to use empty shops in town to set up their office?[/p][/quote]Well said. And to add. Creative does not mean 'arts'. There are plenty of industries that fall under creative, ranging from advertising to digital media to graphic design etc. Yes there are a plenty of commercial premises in Colchester but only a few (and potentially even less) that offer an opportunity to individuals or small companies, small offices/ workspaces at a reasonable rate to enable that business to get on its feet, once up and running these companies then move onto bigger commercial premises. I work in the IT Sector and travel around a lot, there a number of cities/towns in this country that have used grant funding either from the UK or the EU to set up similar hubs for IT businesses. I have seen with my own eyes how these hubs help these companies get established and grow. They then move to bigger commercial premises, employing local people and paying business rates (yes I know the latter goes to central government) all contributing to the local area. Councils, along with all their other duties, should be providing schemes like this to help with small business growth in their area. It is the only way local economies will improve. wearebeingwatched
  • Score: -2

6:39pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

There are plenty of council start-up units for real enterprise. The trouble with the art elite is they expect huge public funding before they consider what they will one day do. We cannot afford to waste public money, wherever it comes from, on these parasites. Two million of public money to convert the old police station for a few to fritter their lives away being "creative" but not actually doing anything economically viable is ridiculous. To justify squandering public money just to stop it going elsewhere is a very weak excuse.
.
Any real business provides a service or product the customer wants and is willing to pay for. It may start at home or pay a commercial rate for a starter unit but then moves on to bigger premises. So far none of the so called "cultural businesses" in the "cultural quarter" have done nothing to suggest they are commercially viable. They are really just an indulgent lifestyle for a few posers who delude themselves that they are "creative" and so deserve huge subsidies for their personal dreams. Time to wake up, realise the gravy train has crashed, and stop living off the state.
There are plenty of council start-up units for real enterprise. The trouble with the art elite is they expect huge public funding before they consider what they will one day do. We cannot afford to waste public money, wherever it comes from, on these parasites. Two million of public money to convert the old police station for a few to fritter their lives away being "creative" but not actually doing anything economically viable is ridiculous. To justify squandering public money just to stop it going elsewhere is a very weak excuse. . Any real business provides a service or product the customer wants and is willing to pay for. It may start at home or pay a commercial rate for a starter unit but then moves on to bigger premises. So far none of the so called "cultural businesses" in the "cultural quarter" have done nothing to suggest they are commercially viable. They are really just an indulgent lifestyle for a few posers who delude themselves that they are "creative" and so deserve huge subsidies for their personal dreams. Time to wake up, realise the gravy train has crashed, and stop living off the state. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 4

8:10am Fri 24 Jan 14

wormshero says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
There are plenty of council start-up units for real enterprise. The trouble with the art elite is they expect huge public funding before they consider what they will one day do. We cannot afford to waste public money, wherever it comes from, on these parasites. Two million of public money to convert the old police station for a few to fritter their lives away being "creative" but not actually doing anything economically viable is ridiculous. To justify squandering public money just to stop it going elsewhere is a very weak excuse.
.
Any real business provides a service or product the customer wants and is willing to pay for. It may start at home or pay a commercial rate for a starter unit but then moves on to bigger premises. So far none of the so called "cultural businesses" in the "cultural quarter" have done nothing to suggest they are commercially viable. They are really just an indulgent lifestyle for a few posers who delude themselves that they are "creative" and so deserve huge subsidies for their personal dreams. Time to wake up, realise the gravy train has crashed, and stop living off the state.
Andy, read other peoples comments and maybe you'd understand what kind of company will be based here. Using Wearebeingwatched's example, do you think digital media is somehow not profit making. This has absolutely nothing to do with the "art elite" as you put it, it's about investing in property, giving startups in an industry that puts a considerable amount into the economy an ideal site to rent. I'm not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf, but how would you even know the financial situation of them all? It's like you've read creative industry and gone "painting?!? What the hell? Not on my back yard", Creative industry is a very wide field of profit making industries, all of which will be paying rent in this location.
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: There are plenty of council start-up units for real enterprise. The trouble with the art elite is they expect huge public funding before they consider what they will one day do. We cannot afford to waste public money, wherever it comes from, on these parasites. Two million of public money to convert the old police station for a few to fritter their lives away being "creative" but not actually doing anything economically viable is ridiculous. To justify squandering public money just to stop it going elsewhere is a very weak excuse. . Any real business provides a service or product the customer wants and is willing to pay for. It may start at home or pay a commercial rate for a starter unit but then moves on to bigger premises. So far none of the so called "cultural businesses" in the "cultural quarter" have done nothing to suggest they are commercially viable. They are really just an indulgent lifestyle for a few posers who delude themselves that they are "creative" and so deserve huge subsidies for their personal dreams. Time to wake up, realise the gravy train has crashed, and stop living off the state.[/p][/quote]Andy, read other peoples comments and maybe you'd understand what kind of company will be based here. Using Wearebeingwatched's example, do you think digital media is somehow not profit making. This has absolutely nothing to do with the "art elite" as you put it, it's about investing in property, giving startups in an industry that puts a considerable amount into the economy an ideal site to rent. I'm not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf, but how would you even know the financial situation of them all? It's like you've read creative industry and gone "painting?!? What the hell? Not on my back yard", Creative industry is a very wide field of profit making industries, all of which will be paying rent in this location. wormshero
  • Score: -2

10:09am Fri 24 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

I notice "wormshero" attacking me when he admits he " is not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf". Perhaps he would look at 15, Queen Street, the old bus station waiting room, the virtually empty VAF and the Slackspace unit in the old Coop bank Victoria place. All unviable, dependant on handouts to survive. Unfortubnately financial reality means the days of free lunches are over. I suggest if "wormshero" wants to see real business he visits the council starter units in George Williams Way and talks to the local federation of small businesses.
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Colchester Council keeps producing a string of white elephants completely ignoring the reality that there is no money to keep these status symbols going. At every council meeting I have attended and every council report there is no factual information about the "cultural quarter" viability. All we hear is how much public money they are going to s[pend on the next white elephant and no mention of the present waste of public funds to indulge the lifestyles of a few "creative" posers.
.
If you have a viable business do what real business do. Start up small in your home, put your service or products on the internet. Establish a viable business plan and then take up one of the council starter units or lease with others a bigger unit. If you provide what people want and are prepared to pay for you will find all the support you need from banks and business advisory services. No one ,except our deluded council, is going to waste money indulging unviable dreams.
I notice "wormshero" attacking me when he admits he " is not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf". Perhaps he would look at 15, Queen Street, the old bus station waiting room, the virtually empty VAF and the Slackspace unit in the old Coop bank Victoria place. All unviable, dependant on handouts to survive. Unfortubnately financial reality means the days of free lunches are over. I suggest if "wormshero" wants to see real business he visits the council starter units in George Williams Way and talks to the local federation of small businesses. . Colchester Council keeps producing a string of white elephants completely ignoring the reality that there is no money to keep these status symbols going. At every council meeting I have attended and every council report there is no factual information about the "cultural quarter" viability. All we hear is how much public money they are going to s[pend on the next white elephant and no mention of the present waste of public funds to indulge the lifestyles of a few "creative" posers. . If you have a viable business do what real business do. Start up small in your home, put your service or products on the internet. Establish a viable business plan and then take up one of the council starter units or lease with others a bigger unit. If you provide what people want and are prepared to pay for you will find all the support you need from banks and business advisory services. No one ,except our deluded council, is going to waste money indulging unviable dreams. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 3

11:09am Fri 24 Jan 14

Bert_Stimpson says...

Dorian wrote:
Bert Stimpson wrote: I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool.

You will be waiting a long time. Im not descending to this kind of childish abuse.
Sorry Doris. Didn't mean to upset you. You've been deluded for years about creative businesses and the arts. Go on, give us the link to your Firsts*ite essay you did years ago. Let's see how your predictions match up to reality. The whole creative quarter, Firsts*ite, Slackerspace, 15 Queen Street dodgy deal nonsense is a waste of space.

Maybe the cash that's wasted on these projects should be spend on more urgent priorities in our crumbling town centre. Colchester Council has wasted millions of public money on these idiotic projects. The only supporters are those with a vested interest, those that commissioned these barmy ideas (who can never admit their own mistakes) and a few idiots who have no concept of public debt or what spending priorities should really be.

I'm glad you're not replying, because you write nonsense.
[quote][p][bold]Dorian[/bold] wrote: Bert Stimpson wrote: I await your pithy response with eager anticipation Doris, you deluded fool. You will be waiting a long time. Im not descending to this kind of childish abuse.[/p][/quote]Sorry Doris. Didn't mean to upset you. You've been deluded for years about creative businesses and the arts. Go on, give us the link to your Firsts*ite essay you did years ago. Let's see how your predictions match up to reality. The whole creative quarter, Firsts*ite, Slackerspace, 15 Queen Street dodgy deal nonsense is a waste of space. Maybe the cash that's wasted on these projects should be spend on more urgent priorities in our crumbling town centre. Colchester Council has wasted millions of public money on these idiotic projects. The only supporters are those with a vested interest, those that commissioned these barmy ideas (who can never admit their own mistakes) and a few idiots who have no concept of public debt or what spending priorities should really be. I'm glad you're not replying, because you write nonsense. Bert_Stimpson
  • Score: 5

11:16am Fri 24 Jan 14

Jonny Buffalo says...

As a newcomer to Colchester (10 years) it seems this town has some confusion as to what creates a cultural community.
I have sat through hours of talks with cultural hotspots such as 'Bristol' or 'Hoxton' bandied around, been exposed to various diagrams, statistics and graphs.
It is of no doubt that if an area can achieve this status it's fortunes can turn with the all the knock on affects associated with it from new businesses to house prices.
To achieve this is a different matter because the formula to start it is outside the realm of non creatives which is where the difficulty and small risk taking arrises.
All successful regenerated 'cultural cities' have started with individual or small groups of creatives whether artists, musicians,film makers creating an independent 'scene' which has a knock on effect all the way up to the comfort zone of bigger businesses and developers.
This foundation, unfortunately is never created by throwing millions of pounds at buildings and however much people hate it can not be artificially created in it's embryonic years by people without a creative or artistic vision.
To start it does need concessions, meanwhile use of dead and empty space is primary to this and a freedom to take chances and a certain amount of indirect support and leeway from authorities .
Not much of a risk giving free space, large or small to creative projects with hard to lease buildings that Colchester seem to sit on waiting for another Aldi or perhaps one day the holy grail of new shiny Ikea.
Once this foundation is laid it can be built upon, progress can be made and in some cases, as is the way with foundations even forgotten about.
If this is indeed a vision for part of Colchester then the realisation is that you need to and keep those odd, non conforming independent hard working artists and creatives locally to feed off but in turn they need a bit of nourishment.
Think further afield to creative cities and towns not just in the UK but Holland, Germany, France, Spain and Scandinavia. The city of Nantes fortunes were turned around from a run down industrial city by just the creative companies of Royal Deluxe and La Machine.
Then perhaps it would not be such a joke the next time Colchester puts its self up for the next city of culture!
As a newcomer to Colchester (10 years) it seems this town has some confusion as to what creates a cultural community. I have sat through hours of talks with cultural hotspots such as 'Bristol' or 'Hoxton' bandied around, been exposed to various diagrams, statistics and graphs. It is of no doubt that if an area can achieve this status it's fortunes can turn with the all the knock on affects associated with it from new businesses to house prices. To achieve this is a different matter because the formula to start it is outside the realm of non creatives which is where the difficulty and small risk taking arrises. All successful regenerated 'cultural cities' have started with individual or small groups of creatives whether artists, musicians,film makers creating an independent 'scene' which has a knock on effect all the way up to the comfort zone of bigger businesses and developers. This foundation, unfortunately is never created by throwing millions of pounds at buildings and however much people hate it can not be artificially created in it's embryonic years by people without a creative or artistic vision. To start it does need concessions, meanwhile use of dead and empty space is primary to this and a freedom to take chances and a certain amount of indirect support and leeway from authorities . Not much of a risk giving free space, large or small to creative projects with hard to lease buildings that Colchester seem to sit on waiting for another Aldi or perhaps one day the holy grail of new shiny Ikea. Once this foundation is laid it can be built upon, progress can be made and in some cases, as is the way with foundations even forgotten about. If this is indeed a vision for part of Colchester then the realisation is that you need to and keep those odd, non conforming independent hard working artists and creatives locally to feed off but in turn they need a bit of nourishment. Think further afield to creative cities and towns not just in the UK but Holland, Germany, France, Spain and Scandinavia. The city of Nantes fortunes were turned around from a run down industrial city by just the creative companies of Royal Deluxe and La Machine. Then perhaps it would not be such a joke the next time Colchester puts its self up for the next city of culture! Jonny Buffalo
  • Score: 4

2:54pm Fri 24 Jan 14

wormshero says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
I notice "wormshero" attacking me when he admits he " is not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf". Perhaps he would look at 15, Queen Street, the old bus station waiting room, the virtually empty VAF and the Slackspace unit in the old Coop bank Victoria place. All unviable, dependant on handouts to survive. Unfortubnately financial reality means the days of free lunches are over. I suggest if "wormshero" wants to see real business he visits the council starter units in George Williams Way and talks to the local federation of small businesses.
.
Colchester Council keeps producing a string of white elephants completely ignoring the reality that there is no money to keep these status symbols going. At every council meeting I have attended and every council report there is no factual information about the "cultural quarter" viability. All we hear is how much public money they are going to s
VAF/The waiting room are arts spaces, not places for creative business. As I and others have pointed out they're both completely different. If you can't see the difference between arts, which are funded and supposedly entertainment, and creative business which are money making, pay rent, pay taxes and contribute to the economy, stuff like digital media which is a high turnover field. People have repeatedly pointed this out to you but you still seem to be using creative business = arts/galleries/exhib
ition. That's not how it worked, so you keep making the same null and void argument.

The development is an investment to create facilities to rent out (that's R.E.N.T. as in *people pay money for*) to creative businesses which have already gone past the start at home phase and need to expand to a facility that SUITS THEIR NEED. I'm not sure why I'm repeating this, it's been said in the comments, and the article, multiple times already and yet you still don't seem to be following.
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: I notice "wormshero" attacking me when he admits he " is not sure what "cultural businesses" exist around the vaf". Perhaps he would look at 15, Queen Street, the old bus station waiting room, the virtually empty VAF and the Slackspace unit in the old Coop bank Victoria place. All unviable, dependant on handouts to survive. Unfortubnately financial reality means the days of free lunches are over. I suggest if "wormshero" wants to see real business he visits the council starter units in George Williams Way and talks to the local federation of small businesses. . Colchester Council keeps producing a string of white elephants completely ignoring the reality that there is no money to keep these status symbols going. At every council meeting I have attended and every council report there is no factual information about the "cultural quarter" viability. All we hear is how much public money they are going to s[pend on the next white elephant and no mention of the present waste of public funds to indulge the lifestyles of a few "creative" posers. . If you have a viable business do what real business do. Start up small in your home, put your service or products on the internet. Establish a viable business plan and then take up one of the council starter units or lease with others a bigger unit. If you provide what people want and are prepared to pay for you will find all the support you need from banks and business advisory services. No one ,except our deluded council, is going to waste money indulging unviable dreams.[/p][/quote]VAF/The waiting room are arts spaces, not places for creative business. As I and others have pointed out they're both completely different. If you can't see the difference between arts, which are funded and supposedly entertainment, and creative business which are money making, pay rent, pay taxes and contribute to the economy, stuff like digital media which is a high turnover field. People have repeatedly pointed this out to you but you still seem to be using creative business = arts/galleries/exhib ition. That's not how it worked, so you keep making the same null and void argument. The development is an investment to create facilities to rent out (that's R.E.N.T. as in *people pay money for*) to creative businesses which have already gone past the start at home phase and need to expand to a facility that SUITS THEIR NEED. I'm not sure why I'm repeating this, it's been said in the comments, and the article, multiple times already and yet you still don't seem to be following. wormshero
  • Score: -4

3:58pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Jonny Buffalo says...

Wormshero has made some valid points but feel perhaps does not agree with my point that to attract more creative businesses (thats RENT) you need an environment that they feel comfortable with and can see growth and innovation for the future.
As for the the categorising of arts/galleries/exhib
s as funded entertainment as opposed to digital media which only apparently wishes to expand to premises fit for purpose and pay rent I feel some gaps in the knowledge of a lot of artists working lives are apparent .
First off, digital media is not just the domain of web optimisation companies it is also a huge part of present day art with a gamete that ranges from photography to animation through to digital video mapping. Most of the people involved in this whole industry either studied art or are from some creative culture or sub culture originally.... Not to think of nurturing future talent (or perhaps to others...... future rent payers) seems a tad shortsighted.
Secondly professional artists are just that. They have to work hard, often hours others would not even consider and like any other tradesman earn their living through their craft. The gravy train of arts funding to individual artists for works of personal folly finished a long time ago and is now just a faint whiff that even the most diligent bisto kid could not detect.
At Colchester's very own Hythe there is a collection of 14 artists who have been running for 6 years without funding, are independent and attract very little interest from the 'established Colchester art scene'. Presently they include artists that create, sell (the point of exhibitions) and for some unknown reason represent this town all over the world, and that is not a toothless claim. Japan,New york, Amsterdam, they have created content for commonwealth games, the Olympics, musicians and music producers signed to labels such as Atlantic (an example of a reasonably established creative industry) who year after year produce large scale art installations (fabricated in Colchester and using local companies to 'keep it local') for every major festival in the UK and Europe trying to champion the cause of Colchester as a creative hub to anywhere between 30,000 and 100,000 people at a time.
1. Art is a job for a lot of artists and has to run on a business model and all the same rules apply such as marketing, supply, distribution etc .
2.Do not make the mistake of separating art and creative industry, they are too closely linked and symbiotic of each other.
3.Have a long term strategy that nurtures what talent you have in the area for the future and create possibilities for growth.
4. Build a grass roots environment that creative industries would want to relocate to, bring their existing client base to and be attractive enough for nurtured talent to stay in.
Wormshero has made some valid points but feel perhaps does not agree with my point that to attract more creative businesses (thats RENT) you need an environment that they feel comfortable with and can see growth and innovation for the future. As for the the categorising of arts/galleries/exhib s as funded entertainment as opposed to digital media which only apparently wishes to expand to premises fit for purpose and pay rent I feel some gaps in the knowledge of a lot of artists working lives are apparent . First off, digital media is not just the domain of web optimisation companies it is also a huge part of present day art with a gamete that ranges from photography to animation through to digital video mapping. Most of the people involved in this whole industry either studied art or are from some creative culture or sub culture originally.... Not to think of nurturing future talent (or perhaps to others...... future rent payers) seems a tad shortsighted. Secondly professional artists are just that. They have to work hard, often hours others would not even consider and like any other tradesman earn their living through their craft. The gravy train of arts funding to individual artists for works of personal folly finished a long time ago and is now just a faint whiff that even the most diligent bisto kid could not detect. At Colchester's very own Hythe there is a collection of 14 artists who have been running for 6 years without funding, are independent and attract very little interest from the 'established Colchester art scene'. Presently they include artists that create, sell (the point of exhibitions) and for some unknown reason represent this town all over the world, and that is not a toothless claim. Japan,New york, Amsterdam, they have created content for commonwealth games, the Olympics, musicians and music producers signed to labels such as Atlantic (an example of a reasonably established creative industry) who year after year produce large scale art installations (fabricated in Colchester and using local companies to 'keep it local') for every major festival in the UK and Europe trying to champion the cause of Colchester as a creative hub to anywhere between 30,000 and 100,000 people at a time. 1. Art is a job for a lot of artists and has to run on a business model and all the same rules apply such as marketing, supply, distribution etc . 2.Do not make the mistake of separating art and creative industry, they are too closely linked and symbiotic of each other. 3.Have a long term strategy that nurtures what talent you have in the area for the future and create possibilities for growth. 4. Build a grass roots environment that creative industries would want to relocate to, bring their existing client base to and be attractive enough for nurtured talent to stay in. Jonny Buffalo
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Fri 24 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed.
What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed. stevedawson
  • Score: 2

4:13pm Fri 24 Jan 14

wormshero says...

stevedawson wrote:
What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed.
Creative industries design and market products, which are exported too. Not sure what your point is? How do you think products are advertised to international (and local) buyers, unless people just send text there's a degree of creative work involved. Who designs products? Creative people working in creative industries or at the very least creative departments within a company.
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed.[/p][/quote]Creative industries design and market products, which are exported too. Not sure what your point is? How do you think products are advertised to international (and local) buyers, unless people just send text there's a degree of creative work involved. Who designs products? Creative people working in creative industries or at the very least creative departments within a company. wormshero
  • Score: -4

4:17pm Fri 24 Jan 14

wormshero says...

Jonny Buffalo, I completely agree with you when you say art and creative industry are closely linked and symbiotic of each other, I'm more trying to seperate the two in the sense that it seems some commentors seem to interpret creative industry as meaning galleries and space for performances, when the topic is about space for profit making businesses. People wrongly seem to group the two together and when they see creative industries they think of lots of money thrown at non-profit making groups, which clearly isn't the case.
Jonny Buffalo, I completely agree with you when you say art and creative industry are closely linked and symbiotic of each other, I'm more trying to seperate the two in the sense that it seems some commentors seem to interpret creative industry as meaning galleries and space for performances, when the topic is about space for profit making businesses. People wrongly seem to group the two together and when they see creative industries they think of lots of money thrown at non-profit making groups, which clearly isn't the case. wormshero
  • Score: -4

4:22pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Jonny Buffalo says...

stevedawson wrote:
What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed.
We live in a country with a 70,000,000 population and hardly any natural resources and have to import massively just to feed that population.
That arty rubbish brings in the UK an estimated £71bn a year and is the countries fastest growing sector.
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: What old thatcher didn't seem to grasp and brown and blair compounded was that exports grow a countries economy not this service arty rubbish.now their financial empire is in ruins, were doomed doomed.[/p][/quote]We live in a country with a 70,000,000 population and hardly any natural resources and have to import massively just to feed that population. That arty rubbish brings in the UK an estimated £71bn a year and is the countries fastest growing sector. Jonny Buffalo
  • Score: -4

6:48pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Simon Taylor says...

Anyone who mentions Royal de Luxe and La Machine gets a thumbs up from me!
Anyone who mentions Royal de Luxe and La Machine gets a thumbs up from me! Simon Taylor
  • Score: 1

12:10am Sat 25 Jan 14

Simon Taylor says...

I've been struggling for years to develop a climate, similar to what JonnyB describes, where Colchester as a whole benefits from nurturing and encouraging the talents of all its communities. Where co-operation and partnership are more than just buzz words, and actually mean something. The launching last year of the potential bid for City of Culture was not a "joke". It was a direct result of this effort and an honest attempt to get cultural organisations, creative groups, and everyone else who wants our town to achieve its potential, to work together and collaborate towards a (very ambitious) common goal.

Unfortunately, so many worthwhile initiatives are only met by suspicion, gifthorses are looked in the mouth, and even those whose input really ought to be at the heart of the project sometimes just sit sceptically on the sidelines. It is a struggle and, at times, it has been painful, but I don't intend to give up.

For what it's worth, I am fully supportive of the great work being done around the Waiting Room, Slack Space, 15 Queen Street, etc, and try to help in whatever limited way I can. And I hope the funding for the creative business incumbation hub can be found because it will be of benefit to us all, directly or indirectly. But I don't think there is such a great difference between creative and non-creative interests, (small bookshops have to be pretty creative to survive!), and I wish that we could all work together better for the common good.
I've been struggling for years to develop a climate, similar to what JonnyB describes, where Colchester as a whole benefits from nurturing and encouraging the talents of all its communities. Where co-operation and partnership are more than just buzz words, and actually mean something. The launching last year of the potential bid for City of Culture was not a "joke". It was a direct result of this effort and an honest attempt to get cultural organisations, creative groups, and everyone else who wants our town to achieve its potential, to work together and collaborate towards a (very ambitious) common goal. Unfortunately, so many worthwhile initiatives are only met by suspicion, gifthorses are looked in the mouth, and even those whose input really ought to be at the heart of the project sometimes just sit sceptically on the sidelines. It is a struggle and, at times, it has been painful, but I don't intend to give up. For what it's worth, I am fully supportive of the great work being done around the Waiting Room, Slack Space, 15 Queen Street, etc, and try to help in whatever limited way I can. And I hope the funding for the creative business incumbation hub can be found because it will be of benefit to us all, directly or indirectly. But I don't think there is such a great difference between creative and non-creative interests, (small bookshops have to be pretty creative to survive!), and I wish that we could all work together better for the common good. Simon Taylor
  • Score: -3

9:32am Sat 25 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

Have to import vast amounts just to feed our nation.Thats why we have an obesity problem in the old albion.deluded or what, my arty f**ty friend.
Have to import vast amounts just to feed our nation.Thats why we have an obesity problem in the old albion.deluded or what, my arty f**ty friend. stevedawson
  • Score: 2

4:21pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Horse wisperer says...

Who would want a "creative business centre" in Colchester equivilent of Beruit after dark??
I dont know what the council paid for this building, but surely just sell it for £1 and let someone else deal with the hassel and cost of redevelopment (subject to planning of course).
Who would want a "creative business centre" in Colchester equivilent of Beruit after dark?? I dont know what the council paid for this building, but surely just sell it for £1 and let someone else deal with the hassel and cost of redevelopment (subject to planning of course). Horse wisperer
  • Score: 1

6:50pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Actually the old police station is a nice solid building that has been somewhat neglected over the years. The intentions of Colchester Council are admirable in principle but unfortunately government funding is falling. When people see front line services cut they question why the council keeps buying up more buildings to "attract developers" or take a huge gamble that there will be funding for whatever status symbol they dream of.
.
It is not just my opinion. Colchester Council has been regarded as a "basket case" for years by certain government depts. and this has resulted in the loss of three grants including the latest the P&R. You have an authority dogmatic in what things are to be done but suffering from congenital deafness to all protests. So frustrated objectors do what they can to ensure council projects fail so at least they can see this elected dictatorship humiliated. That is one reason the "cultural quarter" has been left derelict. The other obvious reason is the high financial risk of investing in this notorious area. Shareholders do watch TV and might question the sanity of the company directors if they believed council plans.
Actually the old police station is a nice solid building that has been somewhat neglected over the years. The intentions of Colchester Council are admirable in principle but unfortunately government funding is falling. When people see front line services cut they question why the council keeps buying up more buildings to "attract developers" or take a huge gamble that there will be funding for whatever status symbol they dream of. . It is not just my opinion. Colchester Council has been regarded as a "basket case" for years by certain government depts. and this has resulted in the loss of three grants including the latest the P&R. You have an authority dogmatic in what things are to be done but suffering from congenital deafness to all protests. So frustrated objectors do what they can to ensure council projects fail so at least they can see this elected dictatorship humiliated. That is one reason the "cultural quarter" has been left derelict. The other obvious reason is the high financial risk of investing in this notorious area. Shareholders do watch TV and might question the sanity of the company directors if they believed council plans. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 7

6:49pm Tue 28 Jan 14

jut1972 says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Actually the old police station is a nice solid building that has been somewhat neglected over the years. The intentions of Colchester Council are admirable in principle but unfortunately government funding is falling. When people see front line services cut they question why the council keeps buying up more buildings to "attract developers" or take a huge gamble that there will be funding for whatever status symbol they dream of.
.
It is not just my opinion. Colchester Council has been regarded as a "basket case" for years by certain government depts. and this has resulted in the loss of three grants including the latest the P&R. You have an authority dogmatic in what things are to be done but suffering from congenital deafness to all protests. So frustrated objectors do what they can to ensure council projects fail so at least they can see this elected dictatorship humiliated. That is one reason the "cultural quarter" has been left derelict. The other obvious reason is the high financial risk of investing in this notorious area. Shareholders do watch TV and might question the sanity of the company directors if they believed council plans.
Andy you keep trotting this basket case story out. Twice in this thread alone. Who is this mystery govt department?
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Actually the old police station is a nice solid building that has been somewhat neglected over the years. The intentions of Colchester Council are admirable in principle but unfortunately government funding is falling. When people see front line services cut they question why the council keeps buying up more buildings to "attract developers" or take a huge gamble that there will be funding for whatever status symbol they dream of. . It is not just my opinion. Colchester Council has been regarded as a "basket case" for years by certain government depts. and this has resulted in the loss of three grants including the latest the P&R. You have an authority dogmatic in what things are to be done but suffering from congenital deafness to all protests. So frustrated objectors do what they can to ensure council projects fail so at least they can see this elected dictatorship humiliated. That is one reason the "cultural quarter" has been left derelict. The other obvious reason is the high financial risk of investing in this notorious area. Shareholders do watch TV and might question the sanity of the company directors if they believed council plans.[/p][/quote]Andy you keep trotting this basket case story out. Twice in this thread alone. Who is this mystery govt department? jut1972
  • Score: -3

9:03pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Well "jut" it should be obvious but I am not going to name them. I only pass on what a senior civil servant said and you have only to look at the results to confirm it. The P&R should have been mostly covered by a government grant two years ago but they it was reallocated to benefit another Essex town. Our town MP has tried but Colchester council just does what it wants. The only comment I get from liberal councillors is they "wish Bob would shut up".
.
I cannot say it would be any better if the Conservatives or Labour run the council. Council meetings are like a dialogue with the deaf. They refuse to listen to the financial facts and instead dream of wealthy developers with money to burn on unviable projects. Before they started I predicted the "cultural quarter" including the VAF and Vineyardgate would never go ahead. The VAF I got wrong because I had underestimated the determination of the Arts Council to finance it in Colchester and it still puzzles me.
.
The days when councils could rely on government or EEC grants are coming to an end. A reasonable council would look at the considerable assets it has and maximise the commercial value. That is why I keep going on about a commercial exhibition group with freedom to maximise use of the VAF and surrounding land. The trouble with grants is the body giving them specifies what use should be made of the building. Inevitably it needs expensive subsidies to keep it going and as shown by the VAF people have voted with their feet to ignore it.
.
The same thing is going to happen with the old police station as already happened with 15, Queen Street. To summarise I would say make the money first and then you can spend it. That's how I have lived.
Well "jut" it should be obvious but I am not going to name them. I only pass on what a senior civil servant said and you have only to look at the results to confirm it. The P&R should have been mostly covered by a government grant two years ago but they it was reallocated to benefit another Essex town. Our town MP has tried but Colchester council just does what it wants. The only comment I get from liberal councillors is they "wish Bob would shut up". . I cannot say it would be any better if the Conservatives or Labour run the council. Council meetings are like a dialogue with the deaf. They refuse to listen to the financial facts and instead dream of wealthy developers with money to burn on unviable projects. Before they started I predicted the "cultural quarter" including the VAF and Vineyardgate would never go ahead. The VAF I got wrong because I had underestimated the determination of the Arts Council to finance it in Colchester and it still puzzles me. . The days when councils could rely on government or EEC grants are coming to an end. A reasonable council would look at the considerable assets it has and maximise the commercial value. That is why I keep going on about a commercial exhibition group with freedom to maximise use of the VAF and surrounding land. The trouble with grants is the body giving them specifies what use should be made of the building. Inevitably it needs expensive subsidies to keep it going and as shown by the VAF people have voted with their feet to ignore it. . The same thing is going to happen with the old police station as already happened with 15, Queen Street. To summarise I would say make the money first and then you can spend it. That's how I have lived. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 1

8:36am Wed 29 Jan 14

jim_bo says...

I hear both sides of the story here, but can anyone tell me if 15 Queen St covers costs and is fully occupied?

I work in the Creative sector and apart from advertising, digital and perhaps illustration most of the things listed wouldn't not be suitable for that location as they need warehouse space, not a small office. (advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides).

Personally I'm all for CBC buying up old spaces and doing them up using funding from elsewhere, which is the case for this particular property. The European grants available are massive and as a nation we pay a lot into it so might as well use them for the benefit of the town.

Perhaps CBC would be wise not to name this as a creative hub and call it a start-up Hub and allow the business's of Colchester to find their own niche.

With London only 50 mins away and Stansted only 30, it's a great place to set up shop but we need to take a proactive approach to all business's or face becoming a commuter dormitory.
I hear both sides of the story here, but can anyone tell me if 15 Queen St covers costs and is fully occupied? I work in the Creative sector and apart from advertising, digital and perhaps illustration most of the things listed wouldn't not be suitable for that location as they need warehouse space, not a small office. (advertising and sign making, printing, film making, animation, illustration, creative writing, theatre, dance, scenery and prop making and the plastic arts and much besides). Personally I'm all for CBC buying up old spaces and doing them up using funding from elsewhere, which is the case for this particular property. The European grants available are massive and as a nation we pay a lot into it so might as well use them for the benefit of the town. Perhaps CBC would be wise not to name this as a creative hub and call it a start-up Hub and allow the business's of Colchester to find their own niche. With London only 50 mins away and Stansted only 30, it's a great place to set up shop but we need to take a proactive approach to all business's or face becoming a commuter dormitory. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

9:13am Wed 29 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

15 Queen Street was sold without advertising or discussion in the council to Firstsite for whatever grant could be got from the Arts Council. I think it was £95,000 but would have to look up the exact figure. I objected as Colchester Council should have sold it in the open market but was first ignored but then derided as "culture" and "creative business" came first.
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Now you have an underused building that the art elite indulge their personal interests. It is mainly financed from the Firstsite groups Art Council funding. Even worse Colchester Council removed the surrounding wall, trees and garden so it stands surrounded by public paving.

The council business startup units are a great idea. The first at George Williams way is fully used and another has been built since. Unfortunately the easy in easy out units at the Cowdray centre have gone since the huge industrial building burnt down. Very sad.
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Startup business is risky but if you take advantage of the free advice you can rapidly grow so you can move into an independent office/workshop. George Williams Way is a good example of a startup centre because you have a receptionist, shared parking and it is near the town centre.
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Unfortunately Queen Street/St Botolphs has become notorious for its night life and abandoned "cultural business" white elephants. Very risky to expect any developer to develop a startup unit there. As all the funding applications from government and EEC have failed I guess the night club will still be there next year.
15 Queen Street was sold without advertising or discussion in the council to Firstsite for whatever grant could be got from the Arts Council. I think it was £95,000 but would have to look up the exact figure. I objected as Colchester Council should have sold it in the open market but was first ignored but then derided as "culture" and "creative business" came first. . Now you have an underused building that the art elite indulge their personal interests. It is mainly financed from the Firstsite groups Art Council funding. Even worse Colchester Council removed the surrounding wall, trees and garden so it stands surrounded by public paving. The council business startup units are a great idea. The first at George Williams way is fully used and another has been built since. Unfortunately the easy in easy out units at the Cowdray centre have gone since the huge industrial building burnt down. Very sad. . Startup business is risky but if you take advantage of the free advice you can rapidly grow so you can move into an independent office/workshop. George Williams Way is a good example of a startup centre because you have a receptionist, shared parking and it is near the town centre. . Unfortunately Queen Street/St Botolphs has become notorious for its night life and abandoned "cultural business" white elephants. Very risky to expect any developer to develop a startup unit there. As all the funding applications from government and EEC have failed I guess the night club will still be there next year. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 1

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