Thursday 24 April 2008

A Question of Money

Here is an extract of a press release made by Arrowcroft (the company pushing for the arena) on 9th December 2003:


Date of issue: 9th December 2003

Croydon Arena to be UK 'centre of excellence' for Paralympic sport
On Monday 8th December, StadiVarios Croydon Limited, the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and Arrowcroft Group Plc signed a symbolic Memorandum of Understanding, through which the proposed Croydon Arena will be established as the prime UK venue for regional, national and international Paralympic events.

StadiVarios Croydon Limited has an agreement with Arrowcroft to build, own and operate the 12,500 state-of-the-art multi-use sport and entertainment arena, the centrepiece of the £400 million redevelopment proposed by Arrowcroft, the developer appointed by the London Borough of Croydon, for the strategically important Croydon Gateway site adjoining East Croydon railway station......

Patrick Nally, of StadiVarios Croydon Limited, said:

'The Croydon Arena will be designed to the highest specification with full provision within the architectural designs for disabled access to all public areas. We hope the BPA’s association with the Croydon Arena will be a long and fruitful one.'

Now here is an extract of article in The Independent (18th March 2001) about Patrick Nally:

"The man behind a much-hyped new musical about Manchester United football club left a trail of debts from his previous theatrical production, the Independent on Sunday has discovered.

A media and TV production company controlled by Patrick Nally, a smooth-talking sports promoter turned theatre producer, is being pursued through the courts for hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bills

Are the council really so sure that the arena, were it ever to be built is financially viable?

Tuesday 22 April 2008

A Large Slice of Fudge

I wrote to Boris Johnson's campaign website, on 16 April, asking:

"Where do you stand on the Arena proposals that the council is trying to ram through?"

They answered today, and served me a large slice of fudge:

"Dear Mr Frost

Thank you very much for emailing the Back Boris campaign, and please excuse the delay in getting back to you.

With less than 14 days to go until the polls open in the Mayoral contest it is not possible for Mr Johnson and his team to look at each such issue that is raised with him and the team. Boris also can't comment on the specific project as it may well end up being passed to the Mayor's office for a formal decision. I do urge you to get in touch after May 1st when Boris may be able to look into the matter in more detail. If there is anything else you would like to bring to our attention, please do not hesitate to get back in contact with us. It is vital that we hear from Londoners about the issues that matter to them.

Yours sincerely

The Policy Team

Ken was able to give an opinion on it!

The Real Scandal of The Arena

This comment has just been posted on Croydon Is Crap.

I would be very grateful if the person who posted it could get in touch with me.


"My company were the originators of the Stanhope Schroder scheme having secured options on the site in 1976 in open competition. The site was originally due to be developed as a Millennium Site with completion in 2000 - what a joke.

After years of frustration the Council became seduced by an individual promoting an Arena as a so called expert. This same individual has tried unsuccessfully in other UK towns and been thrown out of most of them. To this day, he has no experience of building or running an Arena.

We fully investigated the Arena concept and had it potentially valued by one of the world's top consultants. In a nutshell, the Arena would cost £80m to build (ex land cost) and be worth £5m. on completion. There is no possibility of a privately funded Arena being built in a town centre anywhere in the UK - all others in Europe have had public funding and/or free land. American Arenas are supported by Ice Hockey which is their national sport.

It is arguable that through their intransigence Croydon Council have cost borough residents (of whom I am one) £millions in lost revenue from business rates on this site.

After spending £2m. and seven years on this site, we sold to Stanhope/Schroder as we were 'losing the will to live'

Friday 18 April 2008

Thanks Boris

My thanks to Boris Johnson for stepping in to give Hazel Blears a nudge re her non reply to my letter of the 28th February:

"The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP
Secretary of State
Dept. for Communities & Local Government
Eland House, Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU 18th April, 2008

Dear Hazel,

Ken Frost

Ken Frost has asked me to point out that he has had no reply to his letter to you dated 28th February, 2008, a copy of which I enclose. Could I ask, in the absence of his own MP, that you reply to him directly at ***.

Yours sincerely,


Tuesday 15 April 2008

Ken Blasts Arena Plans II

Ken Livingstone asked:

"Who needs an arena which will often be empty. Does anyone seriously believe that the Rolling Stones will come and perform in an arena that small?"

Source Croydon Guardian.

Friday 11 April 2008

Ken Blasts Arena Plans

Ken Livingstone spoke at the Croydon Business/BID Candidate hustings, and included a section on the Arena.

He said that the Arena was a wasted opportunity for Croydon, and a waste of a fantastic site for jobs and homes without all the transport problems.

Ken then went on to blame Croydon council, both the current administration and the previous one, for its obsession with this unwanted development.

I couldn't agree with him more!

Monday 7 April 2008

Slow Response

Sent to Hazel Blears today:

"Dear Ms Blears

Please advise as to when you will respond to my letter sent via email and snail mail on 28 February re the Croydon CPO.

I have yet to receive any acknowledgement.

Thank you.

Kind regards


Croydon Against The Arena