CGP Directors Ken Wills and Chris Seymour-Prosser at The Development of Small & Medium Enterprises (Bejing) Forum. "WIN, WIN!" was the theme but who for you might ask? CGP is selling the idea to TDC that China Gateway is all about job creation . Before we get euphoric about 3000+ jobs at China Gateway we need to ask ourselves if we have the reservoir of talent and skilled workers in Thanet bearing in mind that those Antolin people had a problem getting skilled staff. We also have Thanet Earth about to come on stream with up to 500 jobs available. If we look at the unemployed pool in Thanet(2,000 odd) it would appear to have low-skilled workers and shirkers in it. So most of the workers and construction workers will come from out-side Thanet.
If you are interested in looking up CGP , Ken Wills and Chris Seymour-Prosser 'Google' Search for them and you can read to your heart's content. You might also notice as you search that Ken Wills also made a political donation to South Kent MP Dr Steve Ladyman last year. Here are some snippets I have dug out for interest.
A Report by Company Eye in Feb 2007 had this to say about CGP:" a general holding company for property interests""CGP - The Company is a newly incorporated company which was established by certain of the directors for THE SOLE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING THE SITES...." (my capitals)
The sites Company Eye was talking about were: Forthingloe near Dover: Manston site and Western Heights, Dover."
The success of the Company is to a large extent dependent upon it successfully obtaining planning permission enabling it to develop its property sites."
"THE MANSTON SITE""The Company is in negotiations with a large Chinese company with a view to forming a joint venture to develop the Manston Site as A MAJOR DISTRIBUTION CENTRE for both the UK and Europe for CHINESE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES taking advantage of the proximity to Dover Harbour. The Directors believe that such a project could give significant ADDED VALUE (my capitals) to the Manston Site and are discussing with local politicians ways to progress this project. The Directors believe that the prospects of employment in the area arising from such a venture WOULD FACILITATE THE GRANT OF CONSENT FOR CHANGE OF USER(my capitals) and, in the process, deliver the possibility of adding value for Shareholders."
Have I read this properly? The Manston site is a logistics centre to receive hundreds of lorries bringing Chinese manufactured products in and then shift them out again? That explains those two big X warehouses on the plans perhaps?
The picture below shows Chris Seymour-Prosser in Bejing at the 'conference' in March 2007.
Here is what Company Eye say about Mr Seymour-Prosser' s past in February 2007:
" Chris Seymour-Prosser specialized in obtaining ‘brown field’ off-market sites that enabled the company (Dizengoff) to PURSUE MAJOR PLANNING CONSENTS for various high-density schemes thus achieving SUBSTANTIAL PROFITS and ensuring that the company’s initial investment was returned in a SHORT PERIOD. Chris’s most recent mixed-use developments for the company had a gross development value in excess of £200m. In February 2006 Chris ended his relationship with Dizengoff to concentrate on building a new property development company with his fellow director Ken Wills and to this end they have transferred their interests in certain development properties to the Company creating the Company’s current development portfolio." (my capitals).
Here's an extract from a CGP interim Chairman's Report sent to me with the comment that losses for CGP were in excess of £800,000 for the period:
" Manstona) On 15th March 2007 the Company purchased further land comprising of 73 acres of agricultural land.b) On 22nd June 2007 the Company signed an agreement to lease with the Beijing Association of SME. The agreement to lease is for between 900,000 sq ft and 1,100,000 sq ft of business accommodation at Manston International Business Park. The lease is for a period of 10 years from handover to the Tenant on the completion of the building contract which is expected to be within 18 months.Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Centre ("Chinamex") is standing as the "surety" to the agreement. Chinamex is an official arm of the People's Republic of China."
If you have bothered to get this far, you might be interested in a MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING . Here it is:
" Memorandum of Understanding in relation to CGP's China Gateway site, Manston, KentCommercial Group Properties PLC, the AIM-listed property company, announces that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with Zhejiang Province, acting through Chairman Bao of the Taizhou Foreign Merchant Information Federation with a view in due course to leasing 2,500,000 sq. ft. at CGP's China Gateway site at Manston, Kent. Under the MOU, CGP will arrange for outline planning permission for the building of the additional 2,500,000 sq. ft. of business accommodation on what is currently agricultural land at the site. Following the receipt of outline planning consent, Zhejiang Province Enterprises will sign an agreement to lease covering 2,500,000 sq. ft., such lease to run for 10 years from the date of first occupation. This follows the Company's announcement on 17 May 2007 that it had agreed to lease between 900,000 sq. ft. and 1,100,000 sq. ft. to the Beijing Association of SME at the same site.EndsFor further information, please contact:Commercial Group Properties PLC +44 (0) 1843 860866Ken WillsBeaumont Cornish Limited +44 (0) 20 7628 3396Roland CornishHolborn Public Relations Limited +44 (0) 20 7929 5599David Bick/Mark Longson
I hope this has given you an idea of CGP and how it makes money.
Just an odd thought here, but I have been back to the application to TDC for Phase 1 (F/TH/08/0400) and the owners of land for Phase 1 are listed as KCC, Theatrical Pyrotechnics and Struan Robertson of Alland Grange. Not a sign of CGP.