Southampton's £10m Eastpoint Centre faces cash crisis

Andover Advertiser: Eastpoint Centre faces cash crisis Eastpoint Centre faces cash crisis

IT WAS a flagship development for a Southampton community in desperate need of regeneration.

The Eastpoint Centre was the multi-million-pound face of the new-look Thornhill estate and was intended to epitomise the changing fortunes of the community.

But now the state-of-the-art building’s future as a conference and community centre is looking under threat after those in charge filed for administration.

The £10.5m centre was opened just over two years ago. It was funded using at least £6m of taxpayers’ money along with private investment.

Yesterday prospective administrators confirmed that are in talks with a view to being officially appointed within a week.

A spokesman said that the trustees who manage the Eastpoint Centre were seeking advice regarding its future.

Having consider the “financial and trading position” of the two companies that jointly run the centre in Bursledon Road, a notice of intention to appoint administrators had been filed, he added.

Despite the move, the centre, a registered charity, is continuing to trade and is, for the time being, remaining open with its workforce of 23 staff.

A statement issued on behalf of the centre through prospective administrators Baker Tilly said: “It is envisaged that administrators from Baker Tilly will be appointed within the next seven days.

“Both companies are continuing to trade as normal whilst steps are taken to secure the long term future of the Eastpoint Centre.”

The news was described as “a blow to the image of Thornhill” by ward councillor Matt Stevens.

He said the city council had been informed of the problems at the centre.

“We have been told that the centre is no longer financially viable and it was going into administration. It saddens me that this has happened but it appears to be the result of the economic downturn that is being felt across the board.”

When asked what he thought this would mean for the regeneration hopes of Thornhill, Cllr Stevens said: “It is a blow for the image of Thornhill but it should not be forgotten that this was one of a number of projects that were funded as part of that regeneration bid, some of which continue to be hugely successful.

“Clearly the economic downturn has had an impact on the fortunes of the Eastpoint Centre as it was a business plan that stacked up at the time which was supported by investors and stakeholders.”

Trustee of the centre Councillor Mary Lloyd said: “We’ve been aware for some time of this threat, and now we know it’s happening unfortunately. We are looking as a council on positive uses for the site going forward.”

Comments (19)

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10:53am Wed 15 Jan 14

befriendly says...

Yet another example of the general public's indifference to community improvements and the councils lack of common sense. While I've no idea what events were put on there it's all to obvious the local community didn't want to see what was being organised for them. It is an all to familiar scene where some well meaning arty type gets put in charge and puts on things they think the people should see instead of putting on things the people want to see. It is under used because the general populace aren't interested, yes they might have said what a wonderful idea when it was first projected, but soon lost interest in what was being put on for their, education, instead of the fun events they'd expected and wanted. I know it's a very sore point among echo readers but an ice rink would have a lot more visitors every day and keep the kids from wandering the streets.
Yet another example of the general public's indifference to community improvements and the councils lack of common sense. While I've no idea what events were put on there it's all to obvious the local community didn't want to see what was being organised for them. It is an all to familiar scene where some well meaning arty type gets put in charge and puts on things they think the people should see instead of putting on things the people want to see. It is under used because the general populace aren't interested, yes they might have said what a wonderful idea when it was first projected, but soon lost interest in what was being put on for their, education, instead of the fun events they'd expected and wanted. I know it's a very sore point among echo readers but an ice rink would have a lot more visitors every day and keep the kids from wandering the streets. befriendly
  • Score: 1

11:06am Wed 15 Jan 14

__KTF__ says...

Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success.

This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already.
Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success. This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already. __KTF__
  • Score: 5

11:19am Wed 15 Jan 14

Block41row0sfc says...

Apart from the bar hidden on the side (when its open) no locals are allowed to use the building. The idiots that run it dont Eastpoint do not realise how much potential the building has.
Apart from the bar hidden on the side (when its open) no locals are allowed to use the building. The idiots that run it dont Eastpoint do not realise how much potential the building has. Block41row0sfc
  • Score: 7

11:28am Wed 15 Jan 14

red/whitearmy says...

__KTF__ wrote:
Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success.

This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already.
The rink over christmas was over priced. Me my girlfriend and her kids would have used it but not at those rip off prices. There is demand for one but our council will never allow one to be built. They prefer housing every where. Build an ice rink and there will be demand.
[quote][p][bold]__KTF__[/bold] wrote: Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success. This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already.[/p][/quote]The rink over christmas was over priced. Me my girlfriend and her kids would have used it but not at those rip off prices. There is demand for one but our council will never allow one to be built. They prefer housing every where. Build an ice rink and there will be demand. red/whitearmy
  • Score: 7

11:29am Wed 15 Jan 14

red/whitearmy says...

So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.
So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste. red/whitearmy
  • Score: 12

12:07pm Wed 15 Jan 14

nanny saint says...

The new build has never welcomed the locals! !I
The new build has never welcomed the locals! !I nanny saint
  • Score: 7

12:17pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Inform Al says...

red/whitearmy wrote:
__KTF__ wrote:
Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success.

This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already.
The rink over christmas was over priced. Me my girlfriend and her kids would have used it but not at those rip off prices. There is demand for one but our council will never allow one to be built. They prefer housing every where. Build an ice rink and there will be demand.
Yes, I suppose all those unhoused individuals could kip on the ice.
[quote][p][bold]red/whitearmy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]__KTF__[/bold] wrote: Why do people keep bringing up the ice rink again and again (even in jest) when the ones that have been put in Southampton over Christmas have never been a great success. This would suggest that the demand just isn't there otherwise one would have been built already.[/p][/quote]The rink over christmas was over priced. Me my girlfriend and her kids would have used it but not at those rip off prices. There is demand for one but our council will never allow one to be built. They prefer housing every where. Build an ice rink and there will be demand.[/p][/quote]Yes, I suppose all those unhoused individuals could kip on the ice. Inform Al
  • Score: -3

12:19pm Wed 15 Jan 14

elvisimo says...

red/whitearmy wrote:
So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.
you are correct - it is aiming for conference business and according to the website Asian weddings. there is pretty much nothing that locals would want.

On your ice rink comment - don't think the council would have an issue as long as they are not expected to fund it.
[quote][p][bold]red/whitearmy[/bold] wrote: So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.[/p][/quote]you are correct - it is aiming for conference business and according to the website Asian weddings. there is pretty much nothing that locals would want. On your ice rink comment - don't think the council would have an issue as long as they are not expected to fund it. elvisimo
  • Score: 9

1:26pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Rich 69 says...

Its not surprising at all. I looked at booking a room there to do some training and they wanted £25 per head. Since there were 20 in the group it was just to expensive., Found a room that did it for £80 for the whole day.
Its not surprising at all. I looked at booking a room there to do some training and they wanted £25 per head. Since there were 20 in the group it was just to expensive., Found a room that did it for £80 for the whole day. Rich 69
  • Score: 9

1:28pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Paul TS says...

Problem was that this centre, whilst architecturally innovative, was built in the wrong place. Thornhill residents I do not think will/would have any need for a conference centre and other businesses would rather have meetings etc in a more desirable location, of which there are many to chose from. Another massive ****-up by the local authority, who gave the green light on this project, as they should be held responsible and yet again a waste of tax payers money?
Problem was that this centre, whilst architecturally innovative, was built in the wrong place. Thornhill residents I do not think will/would have any need for a conference centre and other businesses would rather have meetings etc in a more desirable location, of which there are many to chose from. Another massive ****-up by the local authority, who gave the green light on this project, as they should be held responsible and yet again a waste of tax payers money? Paul TS
  • Score: 7

1:55pm Wed 15 Jan 14

pix66 says...

I live with in view of this lump of concrete , I have never had any type of leaflets with activities or anything else that is available there,, still best this than a lot of housing association homes with lazy benefit claimants who always seem to run around with a walking stick ...
I live with in view of this lump of concrete , I have never had any type of leaflets with activities or anything else that is available there,, still best this than a lot of housing association homes with lazy benefit claimants who always seem to run around with a walking stick ... pix66
  • Score: 5

2:37pm Wed 15 Jan 14

loosehead says...

red/whitearmy wrote:
So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.
Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events?
a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it?
the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago
[quote][p][bold]red/whitearmy[/bold] wrote: So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.[/p][/quote]Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events? a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it? the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago loosehead
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Wed 15 Jan 14

nanny saint says...

loosehead wrote:
red/whitearmy wrote: So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.
Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events? a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it? the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago
This is how eastpoint started n it should go back that way.....people of thornhill need to get together?
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]red/whitearmy[/bold] wrote: So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.[/p][/quote]Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events? a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it? the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago[/p][/quote]This is how eastpoint started n it should go back that way.....people of thornhill need to get together? nanny saint
  • Score: 2

4:59pm Wed 15 Jan 14

The Watcher says...

Paul TS wrote:
Problem was that this centre, whilst architecturally innovative, was built in the wrong place. Thornhill residents I do not think will/would have any need for a conference centre and other businesses would rather have meetings etc in a more desirable location, of which there are many to chose from. Another massive ****-up by the local authority, who gave the green light on this project, as they should be held responsible and yet again a waste of tax payers money?
Absolutely.
.
Said at the time that this was a "White Elephant" of a place. A facility without demand and in the wrong place. It was never going to compete with the private sector for conferences (even though it was built to a high standard), and it was inevitable that it would fail.
.
I was disgusted when the then Conservative Administration invested Public money in this flawed scheme as it is not the Council's job to be in business in this manner (as the Eastleigh Lib Dems are finding out over at The Rose Bowl).
[quote][p][bold]Paul TS[/bold] wrote: Problem was that this centre, whilst architecturally innovative, was built in the wrong place. Thornhill residents I do not think will/would have any need for a conference centre and other businesses would rather have meetings etc in a more desirable location, of which there are many to chose from. Another massive ****-up by the local authority, who gave the green light on this project, as they should be held responsible and yet again a waste of tax payers money?[/p][/quote]Absolutely. . Said at the time that this was a "White Elephant" of a place. A facility without demand and in the wrong place. It was never going to compete with the private sector for conferences (even though it was built to a high standard), and it was inevitable that it would fail. . I was disgusted when the then Conservative Administration invested Public money in this flawed scheme as it is not the Council's job to be in business in this manner (as the Eastleigh Lib Dems are finding out over at The Rose Bowl). The Watcher
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

TurquoiseJ says...

Too expensive to hire the space for community events or clubs.
I have attended conferences there and the design of the space makes it difficult to hear the sound system as it competes with the plumbing and air conditioning.
Sad that this has happened as old east point centre was fantastic.
Too expensive to hire the space for community events or clubs. I have attended conferences there and the design of the space makes it difficult to hear the sound system as it competes with the plumbing and air conditioning. Sad that this has happened as old east point centre was fantastic. TurquoiseJ
  • Score: 1

7:09pm Wed 15 Jan 14

A-concerned-Mum says...

This place doesn't welcome the community at all. They charge too much for hire, will not let you cater for yourself, I asked if their food was Kosher they said no, my family require kosher food, they wouldn't/couldn't supply it but would not allow me to under any circumstances. The local Brownies and guides can not afford their prices. There are no community groups, no classes and no incentives. Effectively, this was built with promises and lies.
This place doesn't welcome the community at all. They charge too much for hire, will not let you cater for yourself, I asked if their food was Kosher they said no, my family require kosher food, they wouldn't/couldn't supply it but would not allow me to under any circumstances. The local Brownies and guides can not afford their prices. There are no community groups, no classes and no incentives. Effectively, this was built with promises and lies. A-concerned-Mum
  • Score: 3

11:11am Thu 16 Jan 14

The Music Man says...

Hardly surprising. There's nothing for locals to do there, except a dodgy bar with no life, character, atmosphere etc. Paul Bennett is to blame - but he's probably off on a fancy holiday abroad....
Hardly surprising. There's nothing for locals to do there, except a dodgy bar with no life, character, atmosphere etc. Paul Bennett is to blame - but he's probably off on a fancy holiday abroad.... The Music Man
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 16 Jan 14

Ronnie G says...

loosehead wrote:
red/whitearmy wrote:
So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.
Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events?
a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it?
the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago
Matthew Alexander Stevens is on the Plus You Ltd board of directors, twice. Only 2nd time he dropped the Cllr title.
Councillor for Labour Matt Stevens, transparency is the best option.....
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]red/whitearmy[/bold] wrote: So this building is for the community. Since when . There nothing in there for the community. And the locals not allowed in . Unless they change what this place is used for then it is a waste.[/p][/quote]Why not contact this Labour councillor with a list of what the community wants to see at this place with the guarantee it will make money from these events? a few wedding receptions & birthday parties & more income if you the people of that side of the city Thornhill in particular can take a plan to make it profitable the administrator would have to listen & maybe let a committee from Thornhill run it? the saying is nothing ventured nothing gained so give it ago[/p][/quote]Matthew Alexander Stevens is on the Plus You Ltd board of directors, twice. Only 2nd time he dropped the Cllr title. Councillor for Labour Matt Stevens, transparency is the best option..... Ronnie G
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Sat 18 Jan 14

KeepingCharitiesSafe says...

Let's put it simply. Either there's been breathtaking incompetence or corruption from the start. Which is it? Come on Sian, ask the questions.
Let's put it simply. Either there's been breathtaking incompetence or corruption from the start. Which is it? Come on Sian, ask the questions. KeepingCharitiesSafe
  • Score: 0

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