Author Topic: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??  (Read 241616 times)

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Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #100 on: October 28, 2010, 02:38:30 PM »
The plans on the website are meant to be for illustrative purposes, easily accessible to give people an overall impression and approach of our proposals. The website shows the broad themes and uses but we don't publish our full business plan, market data etc on-line especially as some of this is commercially sensitive information. This is quite normal practice which I'm sure you would appreciate. We will however be producing refreshed data, costings and uses in the coming months to help inform the Trust's and any partner organisations decision making process.

For background we have done the following work previously:
1995 Survey on uses.
1996 Feasibility Study; valuation; published plans.
2000 Second survey on uses.
2003 Further feasibility planning
2005 Listed Building Consent Granted.

Above business planning was in part paid for by the Architectural Heritage Fund as a grant to the Trust.

ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #101 on: October 28, 2010, 02:54:13 PM »
Daniel

PPG15 is quite specific - if the trust did not exist then SBC could grant planning. It IS your mere existance that prevents this and THAT is why the planning inspector ruled the way he did.

The owners plans preserved as much of the old part of the building as possible - what was to go is the 1930's carbuncle.

As your proposals are ridiculous - will ultimately cost the Council Tax payers money, and cannot even begin to happen unless SBC come onside, if you really care about the building then disolve yourselves.

As for the nonsense about World Heritage site - Get real! London / Sheppard street needs levelling - and the works the other side of the tracks have totally changed the character.

Offline Ben Reid

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #102 on: October 28, 2010, 03:12:07 PM »
Commercially sensitive? That's interesting.

As for the various studies carried out between 95 to 2005, are they available online?

and have you found any examples of failed commercial business's operating out of listed buildings?

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #103 on: October 28, 2010, 04:06:52 PM »
Daniel you can put a stop to all these discussions about your credibility by telling us how you intend to raise money and gain ownership.  Anything else is simple frivolity.

The present owner has proven his ability to raise funds otherwise he would not have been able to borrow.

You cannot simply continue to expect things from other people such as SBC you have to go and prove you have substance and are more than a simple pressure group.  Time is running out for you and what you want, you have to do something tangible that we can all support and that is proving how much funding you can secure in your own right.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #104 on: October 28, 2010, 04:35:56 PM »
Or else Daniel - get Rikki Hunt onboard. One mention of his name and Rod will open up the SBC cheque book.

Offline Ben Reid

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #105 on: October 28, 2010, 05:02:34 PM »
Hasn't Mr Richard Hunt already tried to get the mechanics for an anonymous buyer?

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #106 on: October 28, 2010, 05:10:48 PM »
Actually Daniel are you in 'training' for the position of Leader of Swindon Borough Council as you are starting to read like Rod Bluh.  Too much irelevent information and no substance to what is important and no clarity.

Just simplify your message, the more complicated it is the less impact it will have and the less we can support you
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #107 on: October 28, 2010, 05:11:42 PM »
Or else Daniel - get Rikki Hunt onboard. One mention of his name and Rod will open up the SBC cheque book.

Now ph there is a man with whom you can do business.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #108 on: October 28, 2010, 05:48:58 PM »
Actually Daniel are you in 'training' for the position of Leader of Swindon Borough Council as you are starting to read like Rod Bluh.  Too much irelevent information and no substance to what is important and no clarity.

Just simplify your message, the more complicated it is the less impact it will have and the less we can support you

Blimey Richard I hope that was a joke!

As for the message. I wish it was simple but this is not a simple issue. By reducing it it will only leads to the types of misinformation that I've been reading so much of. However the basic message is: I believe we deserve better in Swindon than what we have been dealt to date, not just with the treatment of the Mechanics' but Planning as a whole and also the political culture which pours out of SBC. The Mechanics' acts as a very good symbol of the state of deep routed issues in the town. We can only achieve a better town if we all pull together, raise our expectations and push hard on our political leaders and say enough is enough. I think many on Talk Swindon essentially want the same?

Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #109 on: October 28, 2010, 05:55:58 PM »
Daniel you can put a stop to all these discussions about your credibility by telling us how you intend to raise money and gain ownership.  Anything else is simple frivolity.

The present owner has proven his ability to raise funds otherwise he would not have been able to borrow.

You cannot simply continue to expect things from other people such as SBC you have to go and prove you have substance and are more than a simple pressure group.  Time is running out for you and what you want, you have to do something tangible that we can all support and that is proving how much funding you can secure in your own right.

Richard you know that I have answered this question about raising money and ownership so many times on TS already.

As for the owners ability to raise funds I don't want to make any personal comments beyond what I have said previously. However this could be a good example of how the property boom and the banks reckless lending practices allowed to lend money on projects such as the Mechanics' and to such high risk limited companies. Its totally crazy and deeply worrying but does illustrate what was going on in the financial sector. Anyway that is just my personal view...

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #110 on: October 28, 2010, 05:59:22 PM »
Richard you know that I have answered this question about raising money and ownership so many times on TS already.


Sorry Daniel I must have missed it so could you please advise us once again so we are clear as to how you intend to achieve it?
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #111 on: October 28, 2010, 06:19:43 PM »
Taken from previous posts and added to:

...a different approach or financial model is required, in this case a social enterprise. This is not something new or fancy and it happens all over the country in heritage buildings not unlike the Mechanics’. It is on the principles of social enterprise that the Trust’s plans are based.
Of course there is a need for the initial investment, but as with many heritage restoration projects the initial investment is the easier part and I think that is particularly true for the Mechanics’ as a nationally and internationally significant building and best example of its kind. Heritage Lottery Funds and others are there for this very reason and there would be a need to raise some funds locally and in-kind. The challenges of securing a return on investment in heritage is a widespread concern and known as “heritage deficit”, something the current owner has been shown. The more important bit however is securing a long term, sustainable and viable future for the building to support itself. The business plans and market research conducted by the Trust show how this could be achieved and that it warrants further study which we are doing over the coming months. The Trust felt strongly that we wanted to avoid the need for grants and subsidy each year to cover core costs so we have proposed that the commercial uses (such as conferencing, retail and food outlets) support those non-profit making uses and contribute more to the core running costs. It is also a good model as by having a range of income streams you spread your risk and reliance. This is a standard social enterprise approach whereby any earned income and profit gets re-invested into the operation and charity rather than the pockets of shareholders.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #112 on: October 28, 2010, 06:45:19 PM »
Sorry Daniel that was hard work and I am none the wiser for the experience!

You need to say in one sentence preferably how you intend to raise the money to buy the building?  Heritage Lottery funding and and another Resotorations series can come later but without ownership you are wasting your time.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Mellon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #113 on: October 28, 2010, 07:21:30 PM »
Don't forget richard, daniel has already stated he wants Mr Singh to hand the building over
"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."

Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #114 on: October 28, 2010, 07:23:04 PM »
Richard you ask for answers to complicated issues and then moan about having to read them, these are not simple matters and that is a fact.

Once more on ownership (one sentence won't cut it):
Regardless of some previous comments to this I will restate that I believe the building has little or no market value. While the Trust could approach him direct we cannot use lottery money to pay more than the buiding is worth which at the last official valuation was £1 and now the building is in even worse a state. The urgent works notice and the subequent council action has triggered a legal process which could end in compolsory purchase (if the owner does not pay the bill) in which case the owner will also recieve next to nothing. If the owner has any sense or cares about the building he would give up now and hand over the building, cut his loses and walk away without having to go through the legal mess and time. However as/if facts change the Trust will review its policy to gaining ownership but at this stage our preferred option is to try and influence SBC to work in partnership with us and arrange a "back to back" handover of the building.

Offline Mellon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #115 on: October 28, 2010, 07:40:51 PM »
Ii think the trust should cut its loses and back down
"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #116 on: October 28, 2010, 11:15:55 PM »
Am I having a bad day or is anyone else having difficulty in trying to understand what the Mechanics' Trust are doing and how they intend to achieve their ambition for a building they don't even own or ever hope to but expect to be given by the current owner? :-\

Please note I have used my second smiley in an attempt to lighten up proceedings!!

Going to bed now!!
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

ph1lc

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #117 on: October 29, 2010, 08:20:37 AM »
Sorry Daniel £1 - he site is worth upwards of £1 million, and therein lies your's and SBC's problem.
If you think the building is going to be handed to the trust for £1 - then you are seriously deluded.

It would as Mellon says be much better for Swindon if the trust backed away now.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #118 on: October 29, 2010, 08:37:42 AM »
I have no problem in understanding Daniel's postings. 

I understand the Trust's aims, I understand the Trust is run by volunteers, some may think this means amatuers, but I have yet to meet a group less amatuer in the way they go about things with regard to the Mechanics building. 

I understand the listed buildings laws and I understand partnerships to get funding to take over/restoration. And I know this is possible.

Daniel, you could clog up Talkswindon with explanations but you understand more than the people asking questions.  Why some should be so irritated by the Trust I don't understand. Do not give up.

The law of the land says what/how the building should be used/treated not the Trust.  This an important heritage building in an important heritage area, part of heritage that is regionally and the nationally important.  That is not just a matter of my or the Trust's opinion. 

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Daniel Rose

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #119 on: October 29, 2010, 08:46:16 AM »
Ok this isn't getting anywhere. I can only give you these answers so many times. For those of you that really want the answers then do some research for yourself if you won't believe me. For example the history of Compulsory Purchase, the stats of how owners behave and the typical amounts paid to owners if it goes to full proceedings. Also the role of Building Preservation Trusts or best practice from English Heritage and Planning Policy Guidance/Statements relating to the historic environment etc.

All of these and more I have explained to you but perhaps by looking for yourself you will understand the issue further and we can move this discussion on.