Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Urban Splash....Are They Drowning in Debt?

Our Architectural Saviours Urban Splash are now in talks with their bankers to ensure that it does not breach its banking covenants. They have promoted themselves as the darling boys of trendy heritage.....milking the public grant system.... in my opinion. I personally put a lot of time into saving the Littlewoods Building from demolition when I picked up a planning application to demolish it. They were supposed to have acquired it but it seems they have now abandoned the project. The same seems to be happening at the derelict Cinema in Lime Street used as a hoarding for 2008. What a mess they helped create along with those English Heretics at Park Hill in Sheffield. http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/05/dr-simon-thurley-and-restoration-of.html They also have just recently completed the Midland Hotel in Morecambe. I had a private tour round the building with Bill Maynard and suggested I place an advertisment, in the Antique trade gazzette after the theft of a balustrade section with a seahorse upon it designed by Eric Gill. It was some months later at a live Radio Merseyside debate that Bill told me someone had walked on the site with it..no questions asked and gave it back. I was pleased "Right you can pay me for the advert now" I said, "Oh did we not pay you" he said sheepishly. "we will send you a cheque". There may be a few other schemes of theirs on hold while Tom Bloxham can well ride it out in his mad looking futuristic 1960s pile in the south of France.
Johnathan Falkingham who along with Tom Floxham founded the company. Falkingham is a trustee of National Museums Liverpool. Urban Splash did a competition scheme for the original museum competion for our Pier Head marketed by October Communications. The competition was for a Fourth (sic) Grace that architect madman of "Cloud" Cuckoo-land, Alsop won in a council stitch up, with the glass pie in the sky. They both then went on to do a sheme called "Cheep as Chips" together. Someone from Urban Spash said about Alsop. "He should be in an institution he is as mad as a hatter". http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/buildings/residential/chips-new-islington-manchester-by-alsop-architects/5202419.article
So Falkingham, eventually as part of NML along with the then Chairman of English Heritage, who turned a blind eye, managed to destroy the World Heritage Site anyhow with the museum that is funded by building those three black granite grotesques next to it, that Doreen Jones cast her vote as chair of planning committee to rubber stamp.

Splosh!!. Big Belly Flop!! Tools are now well and truly downed “The directors believe that based, upon dialogue with these lenders, it is unlikely that the banks would demand facilities to be repaid in the next 12 months and that those due for renewal will be satisfactorily renegotiated" Falkingham said. In the year to 31 March 2008, pre-tax profits ballooned 58% to £4.9 million on turnover up 9% to £62.1 million.
Yes and most of that was because they had learnt how to milk more money from the public purse.
When the going gets tough Urban Splash get going.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure Urban Splash shouldnt be called Urban Leak - most of their buildings seem to let water in by the gallon and they never seem to keen to fix them.