First tenant announced for new Jersey finance centre

UBS has agreed to move to the premises, once the development is complete. Earlier this week an appeal was launched against the development.

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Finance centre public Q&A session announced

An impression of the finance centre. Credit: ITV News

The first public meeting, where islanders can learn about the international finance centre planned for Jersey's waterfront, will take place next week.

On Wednesday 10 June, there will be a drop in session from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the town hall in St Helier, which people can attend for one-to-one sessions to learn more about the plans.

Then, from 7pm, there will be a more formal public meeting, in the same location.

This will begin with a presentation, and islanders will then be able to ask questions.

The States Assembly first agreed a plan to develop the Waterfront in 2008. Since then, the majority of Members have supported the concept through a total of five propositions attempting to defer or stop its progress.

Now that sufficient pre-lets have been agreed, work on the first building of the financial district is due to begin. We would like to explain the vision for Jersey’s financial centre to islanders who are interested in, or concerned about, any aspects of it.

We will be at the Town Hall from 4.30-6.30pm on Wednesday next week, available for one-to-one discussions with anyone who would like to find out more about plans for the International Finance Centre. From 7pm there will be a more formal public meeting, where people are welcome to hear a presentation and ask questions about what they have heard.”

– Senator Alan Maclean

UBS has been announced as the first tenant for the finance centre, and the company will take up a lease for 16,000 square feet of office space, allowing the construction of the first building to go ahead.

However, the finance centre remains controversial, with a protest planned for this weekend at the site, on the Esplanade car park.

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Were 'incentives' offered to UBS to move to new finance centre?

Deputy Montfort Tadier has lodged an urgent oral question to ask in the States today regarding incentives to occupy the new Jersey finance centre.

Last week it was announced that UBS has agreed to move its business to the international centre, which will be based on the corner of the Esplanade and Castle Street, on the St Helier Waterfront.

Construction of each of the centre's buildings could not begin until a tenant is announced, so development of the first building can now get underway.

A petition against the Esplanade finance centre development has since been signed by almost 1,000 people, and a 'human-chain' protest is set to take place at the site this weekend.

Deputy Tadier now wants to know if any incentives or inducements were offered to the company to encourage them to move to the controversial site.

Following the announcement that UBS has signed an agreement with the States of Jersey Development Company to move into the proposed Esplanade Quarter would the Minister inform member exactly when this agreement was signed and explain exactly what incentives or inducements (such as free rent periods) if any, were offered to UBS?

– Deputy Montfort Tadier

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Concerns raised over finance centre development

The planned finance centre. Credit: ITV News

Concerns about the construction of a new international finance centre in Jersey have been raised by Save Our Shoreline.

UBS has been announced as the first tenant for the centre, and the Treasury Minister says this means construction of the first building is financially viable, and can get underway.

However, Save Our Shoreline has queried this.

The group understands UBS has agreed to lease part of Building 4, a 67,000 square foot development.

It says this wouldn't be enough to fund construction.

It also says funding for the project would be guaranteed by the States, putting public money at risk.

Five hundred sign petition against finance centre

The petition. Credit: The Petition Site

A petition against the construction of a new international finance centre in Jersey has been signed by five hundred people.

The petition's description states:

I have created this petition in hope that we can somehow prevent this from happening, because I feel local government and numerous companies are slowly ruining our beautiful Island."

– STOP the planned finance centre

Today, the first tenant has agreed to move into the finance centre, and the Treasury Minister says that means construction of the first building can get underway.

UBS expects finance centre move in '18 months'

The planned finance centre. Credit: ITV News

UBS do not intend to get involved in the politics of the move to Jersey's new international finance centre, and are aware of the controversy surrounding it.

Tom Hill, from the company, expects them to complete the move in around 18 months:

As far as we are aware the planning process has been observed. The appropriate debate has taken place. We don't know the timescale yet, it hasn't been agreed but I would say around 18 months. We don't expect it to take five years.

We have got two offices in St Helier right now. They are old and inconvenient to work in. We need a new place."

– Tom Hill, UBS

Fourteen in frame for finance centre

The planned finance centre. Credit: ITV News

ITV News has learned 14 companies are in talks with the Jersey Development Company about leasing space in the new Finance Centre.

The details were confirmed by Assistant Economic Development minister Deputy Murray Norton who revealed two of those firms are at advanced stages with early outline agreements signed.

It comes as pressure grows on the States-owned quango to prove there is a need for the government-backed development of 'grade A' office space in St Helier.

Opponents say the proposed buildings on the Esplanade would be a blot on the landscape, not an effective use of public money, and should be something the private sector should provide instead.

A public protest is planned on the site.

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