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Premier Meade searches for investors

2013 (updated)  Master Plan

2013 (updated) Master Plan

charrette-055

Premier Meade speaking at Charette

While we wait to for news from the Aide Memoire since the budget talks in February and budget presentation and in March, and the Premier’s usual declaration of news that the Premier is off seeking investors; we learn of a letter to Premier Meade a little less than a year ago dated 9 May 2013, Rt. Hon Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State, DFID joined Mark Simmonds MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office), in wishing the Premier “all the best in taking forward this important work,” (Moving Montserrat towards financial independence).

 The UK agreed then to “give you the time you need and the necessary technical expertise to negotiate the newer idea of a PPP agreement on co-investment in Carr’s Bay port / breakwater.”

 They agreed at the same time: “In parallel we agree to move ahead in implementing other components of the Strategic Growth Plan to help Montserrat reduce its financial dependence on the UK.”

Meanwhile noting: “it is important that all investment decisions (i) are financially and economically viable, both individually and taken as a whole; (ii) contribute to reducing budget dependency; (iii) account fully for the contingent and reputational risks, and (iv) clarify any institutional changes and other arrangements required to make the SGP a success.

Little-Bay---Potato-Hill-etc--(aerial)-DSC_0802The premier learnt in that letter, “We will proceed with the implementation of other SGP components as follows;  i. Geothermal – ii. Access – We have agreed that an improved ferry service should be provided and have adjusted the budgetary aid settlement proposed for final approval to reflect the increased access subsidy required. We will consider the case for long-term improvements once the economic and financial case has been made. iii. Fibre optic cable – GoM should work on the planning, design and appraisal phase. If a viable economic and financial business case that fully explores private sector participation is made it will be considered for funding.”

It was on that background that later in October 2013, the DFID Minister said he agreed to a DFID-led assessment of the viability of

investments in the Carr’s Bay port and of feasible alternative options.

Ivan Browne - MDC @ Sujue Coffee morning (8)“Key considerations in assessing the options were the overall costs, benefits to the people of Montserrat, risks in realizing the full development plans and liabilities to GoM and UKG.”

Since May last year the Premier has been trying to find support funding to carry out, what DFID calls “an ambitious strategy” which required Montserrat to find investment to the tune of US$450 million = EC$ 1,215,000,000.00. Failure to do this to date resulted in the Minister’s letter of February 14, 2014, in which he stated:

“I am aware that over the last 16 months, you have taken forward work on the design of a port in Carr’s Bay.  This was one of the five options that I considered carefully. However, without firm private sector commitment to invest in the landside components of the Little Bay master plan, it remains unclear that this project would be financially viable. I feel that I cannot justify this level of investment – particularly in times of financial hardships in the UK.”

Carrs-Bay-Romeo-etc-frm-Davy-Hill-bluff-(1)-gunhill-and-port--feature

Carrs-Bay

A year ago the Premier reported promises and letters of intent from investors, as well as a report from the MDC which stated: “MDC and GoM are in advanced discussions with a Dubai-based consortium interested in development of the resort hotel at Little Bay and the villas on Potato Hill.

“MDC is in advanced discussions with a US-based investment management company (Brilla Group) which specialises in the hotel

and resort sector. They have expressed interest in working with MDC to identify suitable investors for the Little Bay hotel, villas and part of the new town. (They were due to visit Montserrat in June 2013.)

“Detailed discussions are underway with UIG, a potential investor in the port, marina and some of the waterfront town properties. UIG plan to visit Montserrat during late-May 2013 for detailed discussions. These are likely to involve a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. UIG works with cruise companies that may be interested in investing in the port and/or landside tourism facilities. The Group is also experienced in working with local agencies and businesses to develop the tourism product to the level required by the cruise operators.

“Another developer has expressed interest in investment in the port. They visited Montserrat in Oct 2012 for preliminary discussions and have recently confirmed their continuing interest.

“A small consortium comprising architects and investors is working on detailed design for a bio-diversity hotel and environmental centre on Davy Hill, comprising research and accommodation facilities.

“A small hotel

Little-Bay,-Potato-Hilll-2008-DSC_0307

Little-Bay,-Potato-Hill

company has expressed preliminary interest in a guesthouse at the western end of Davy Hill.”

No news of how any of these has materialised is replaced with the Premier’s pronouncement that we will find investors to confound the British reversion to alternative plans unknown to the people of Montserrat particularly regarding the Carr’s Bay port.

But Premier Meade as he rushes towards the goal of making something palatable to go through an election year political campaign, he faces the problem, OTs – “Their external relations remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the sovereign power.”

Additionally, in the MOU Review report of May 15-22, DFID reminded the necessity, “The nature and scope of technical expertise required to negotiate and undertake due diligence of any commercial expression of interest in the landside development (Hotel, Villas, Marina, Commercial town etc).”

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

2013 (updated)  Master Plan

2013 (updated) Master Plan

charrette-055

Premier Meade speaking at Charette

While we wait to for news from the Aide Memoire since the budget talks in February and budget presentation and in March, and the Premier’s usual declaration of news that the Premier is off seeking investors; we learn of a letter to Premier Meade a little less than a year ago dated 9 May 2013, Rt. Hon Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State, DFID joined Mark Simmonds MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office), in wishing the Premier “all the best in taking forward this important work,” (Moving Montserrat towards financial independence).

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 The UK agreed then to “give you the time you need and the necessary technical expertise to negotiate the newer idea of a PPP agreement on co-investment in Carr’s Bay port / breakwater.”

 They agreed at the same time: “In parallel we agree to move ahead in implementing other components of the Strategic Growth Plan to help Montserrat reduce its financial dependence on the UK.”

Meanwhile noting: “it is important that all investment decisions (i) are financially and economically viable, both individually and taken as a whole; (ii) contribute to reducing budget dependency; (iii) account fully for the contingent and reputational risks, and (iv) clarify any institutional changes and other arrangements required to make the SGP a success.

Little-Bay---Potato-Hill-etc--(aerial)-DSC_0802The premier learnt in that letter, “We will proceed with the implementation of other SGP components as follows;  i. Geothermal – ii. Access – We have agreed that an improved ferry service should be provided and have adjusted the budgetary aid settlement proposed for final approval to reflect the increased access subsidy required. We will consider the case for long-term improvements once the economic and financial case has been made. iii. Fibre optic cable – GoM should work on the planning, design and appraisal phase. If a viable economic and financial business case that fully explores private sector participation is made it will be considered for funding.”

It was on that background that later in October 2013, the DFID Minister said he agreed to a DFID-led assessment of the viability of

investments in the Carr’s Bay port and of feasible alternative options.

Ivan Browne - MDC @ Sujue Coffee morning (8)“Key considerations in assessing the options were the overall costs, benefits to the people of Montserrat, risks in realizing the full development plans and liabilities to GoM and UKG.”

Since May last year the Premier has been trying to find support funding to carry out, what DFID calls “an ambitious strategy” which required Montserrat to find investment to the tune of US$450 million = EC$ 1,215,000,000.00. Failure to do this to date resulted in the Minister’s letter of February 14, 2014, in which he stated:

“I am aware that over the last 16 months, you have taken forward work on the design of a port in Carr’s Bay.  This was one of the five options that I considered carefully. However, without firm private sector commitment to invest in the landside components of the Little Bay master plan, it remains unclear that this project would be financially viable. I feel that I cannot justify this level of investment – particularly in times of financial hardships in the UK.”

Carrs-Bay-Romeo-etc-frm-Davy-Hill-bluff-(1)-gunhill-and-port--feature

Carrs-Bay

A year ago the Premier reported promises and letters of intent from investors, as well as a report from the MDC which stated: “MDC and GoM are in advanced discussions with a Dubai-based consortium interested in development of the resort hotel at Little Bay and the villas on Potato Hill.

“MDC is in advanced discussions with a US-based investment management company (Brilla Group) which specialises in the hotel

and resort sector. They have expressed interest in working with MDC to identify suitable investors for the Little Bay hotel, villas and part of the new town. (They were due to visit Montserrat in June 2013.)

“Detailed discussions are underway with UIG, a potential investor in the port, marina and some of the waterfront town properties. UIG plan to visit Montserrat during late-May 2013 for detailed discussions. These are likely to involve a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. UIG works with cruise companies that may be interested in investing in the port and/or landside tourism facilities. The Group is also experienced in working with local agencies and businesses to develop the tourism product to the level required by the cruise operators.

“Another developer has expressed interest in investment in the port. They visited Montserrat in Oct 2012 for preliminary discussions and have recently confirmed their continuing interest.

“A small consortium comprising architects and investors is working on detailed design for a bio-diversity hotel and environmental centre on Davy Hill, comprising research and accommodation facilities.

“A small hotel

Little-Bay,-Potato-Hilll-2008-DSC_0307

Little-Bay,-Potato-Hill

company has expressed preliminary interest in a guesthouse at the western end of Davy Hill.”

No news of how any of these has materialised is replaced with the Premier’s pronouncement that we will find investors to confound the British reversion to alternative plans unknown to the people of Montserrat particularly regarding the Carr’s Bay port.

But Premier Meade as he rushes towards the goal of making something palatable to go through an election year political campaign, he faces the problem, OTs – “Their external relations remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the sovereign power.”

Additionally, in the MOU Review report of May 15-22, DFID reminded the necessity, “The nature and scope of technical expertise required to negotiate and undertake due diligence of any commercial expression of interest in the landside development (Hotel, Villas, Marina, Commercial town etc).”