Tuesday 12 March 2013

The Exhibition industry is unhappy.....

With all the furore over the West Ken and Gibbs Green estates, one aspect of the Earls Court development that is often overlooked is the way in which the exhibition industry is furious about the loss of the space. Chelsea's submissions to LBHF have made clear mention of a stadium that would incorporate exhibition facilities. So we thought we would ask the industry for their view. Karim Halwagi, CEO of  the Association of Event Organisers answered some questions;

What are your views on the loss of EC as an exhibition facility?

The removal of Earl's Court (with absolutely no discussion or even consideration about a replacement) would cripple the industry and relegate London and the UK far down the rank of hosts for international trading fairs and events. Already, major companies have chosen to expand by holding shows abroad (in Germany) since there is not enough suitable venue stock in London and the UK.

Are you aware of the ideas and  plans CFC have as part of a stadium development and whether they would meet the needs of the exhibition industry?


I have not been able to get specifics for the proposal but I was made aware of the concept. If there was any indication that this could be viable I would be very interested for the AEO to work with CFC in developing the idea to ensure that it could work with and enjoy the support from the UK Exhibition & Events Industry.

What has been the CapCo, council and/or the Mayor of London's response to your representations regarding the damage to the UK exhibition industry?


In general our representations have been ignored or dealt with as a matter of process. We have noted the complete disregard for our industry – an industry that has a Net Annual Expenditure of £11 Billion in the UK and a Gross Value Added of £5.6 Billion – in that all issues point East. The Mayor seems to believe that any venue stock issues can be dealt with by ExCeL. The Mayor and City Hall seem to think that we can compete as a 'World City' where other countries are EXPANDING their venue capacity. The removal of one of the most internationally well-known and popular event venues sends a disastrous message around the world. Other major cities are expanding their venue stock as they fully understand the economic benefits of the industry, whilst the UK and London are reducing. The demolition of Earl's Court will simply diminish the status of this country and its capital in the eyes of the rest of the world.


In your estimation, how much in monetary terms might the loss of EC mean to British industry and the UK economy?

I wish I could provide definitive figures, but I can safely say that the monetary effect of the demolition of Earls Court will be in the £100's Millions with a view to direct, indirect and induced impact


So there you go.

In other news, we heard that TfL were considering not giving over the land at Lillie Bridge to the development. That would have been awkward......


  1. Sadly it's looking like this thing could drag on for years... years FFP will not afford us.

  2. Capco have revalued upwards their trading leases of EC1 and EC2, which have no development rights, between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2012 by £198 million.

    1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011, EC1 and EC2 revalued from £141m to £195m, an increase of £57m.

    1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012, EC1 and EC2 revalued from £195m to £336m, an increase of £141m.

    We know this from Capco published accounts and press releases.

    This £198m valuation profit was a gift to Capco from Boris Johson and Stephen Greenhalgh when they agreed that TfL and LBHF would treat with Capco alone.

  3. Hi mate,
    What is happening regarding our stadium front. Any good news coming our way? With the way that West ham snapped up the OS should be warning to these idiotic and childish CPO holders who wants RA to tell them each and everything before giving the shares. With spuds moving and west ham got the OS i really really fear for the future of CFC after RA. What annoys me the most is all these paranoid CPO holders agreeing to anything that comes out of H&F council.All we need is a common sense from CPO to let the club know that they are willing to give the share for a good 65K stadium with reduced prices and good communication with the fans. Anyway i wont hold my breath about CPO anymore. CFC MUST decide about the CPO one way or the other. Either the club should offer the GREEDY CPO fans more money they want to buy the shares back or just abolish the CPO with recalling the initial loan and get it over with. Before anybody starts abusing me i am a CPO shareholder. I am more than willing to give the shares back the club for the original 100 and having my name associated with the club in some way like mentioning it in the walls of the new ground etc.

  4. Abcd we think things may be clearer by summer's end.... Difficult to say more

  5. Thanks Richard. We hear that TfL are quite determined to play hardball over the land...