Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

Items
No. Item

1.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Katy Woolcott – London Biggin Hill Airport be appointed Vice-Chairman for the 2016/17 municipal year.

 

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Sharon Baldwin – Orpington 1st BID Company, Mike Lewis – Michael Rogers LLP, Kate Miller – intu Bromley, Robert Sargent – Acorn Commercial and Chandra Sharma – Federation of Small Businesses.

 

The Chairman welcomed Alex Henderson to the meeting who would be joining the Partnership as the new representative of MSE UK.

3.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH APRIL 2016 AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th April 2016 were agreed, and signed as a correct record. There were no matters arising.

4.

PRESENTATION FROM U+I GROUP PLC ON ST MARK'S SQUARE DEVELOPMENT

Minutes:

Ms Arlene van Bosch, Development Director and Mr Jon Carter, Senior Project Director, U+I Group PLC gave a presentation on the St Mark’s Square development.

 

U+I Group PLC was established following a merger of Cathedral and Development Securities PLC in 2014, and more formally in November 2015 when they moved into their current premises.

 

The St Mark’s Square Development was Site K of the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan, located at the southern end of the High Street. A Development Agreement had been signed in 2010 between the freeholders, London Borough of Bromley, and Cathedral Group who took a lease of 250 years. The former car park on the site was demolished and U+I Group PLC started their development in May 2013. The site had a number of constraints including the nearby railway, insurance company buildings, Westmoreland Road and the culvert of the River Ravensbourne which would need to be diverted. The project had been delayed due to a number of logistical issues on site, but was now moving ahead.

 

U+I Group PLC had chosen to invest in Bromley as the local core population of 340,000 included 66% of those being ABC1s with high disposable incomes. There was no large multiplex cinema and a limited family restaurant offer in the town centre, which meant residents were likely to drive to places like Bluewater and as a result their expenditure would leave the Borough.

 

The project included a nine screen multiplex VUE cinema in the basement, restaurants including Las Iguanas, Pizza Express, Nando’s, Prezzo, Dean’s Diner and Turtle Bay, a 130-bed Premier Inn hotel, 200 apartments, 400 car parking spaces and a high quality public plaza for which they had doubled the size requirement of public space across the site. It was noted that the motif design on the exterior of the hotel was a broom flower, from which Bromley had taken its name and highlighted its heritage.

 

The 200 residential units included 185 units situated above the restaurants and consisted of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The affordable housing partner was Moat and they had purchased 62 units. The rest of the units would be sold through local estate agents JDM. Residents had 100 private car parking spaces located in the basement, and the remaining 300 car parking spaces would be for public use. The project was due to be completed by the end of 2017 with the plaza and the country’s first underground cinema opening first, followed by the restaurants and hotel. The residential units were due to be handed over at the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018.

 

Members of the Partnership enquired about the amount of parking spaces being created on the site. Ms van Bosch responded that they had liaised with the London Borough of Bromley Planning department and the Greater London Authority throughout the process. The Greater London Authority had not wanted U+I Group PLC to provide any parking spaces for the residential development, so 50% of the total number of residential  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

NEW APPRENTICESHIPS LEVY (PRESENTATION BY DAVID WARNES, BROMLEY COLLEGE OF FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION / LESLEY HOLLAND, BROMLEY EDUCATION BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP)

Minutes:

Mr David Warnes, Vice Principal Innovation & Enterprise, Bromley College of Further and Higher Education and Ms Lesley Holland, Acting EBP Manager, Bromley Education Business Partnership gave a presentation on the new apprenticeships levy.

 

The Partnership was advised that significant changes would be taking place as to how the Government funds apprenticeships. From 6th April 2017, all employers with a payroll bill greater than £3m per year would have to pay an apprenticeships levy of 0.5%. It was estimated that the levy would increase the pot of money to be invested into apprenticeships from £1.5bn to £3bn.

 

Levy paying employers would be able to access funding for apprenticeships through the new Digital Apprenticeship Service account in the form of a digital voucher. It was noted that there were currently some set priced training schemes, but from April 2017 that would no longer be the case and employers would need to negotiate costs directly with the training providers. The levy funds could only be used to pay for training and assessment of apprenticeships, and could not be put towards any on-costs such as wages, travel costs and managerial costs.

 

It was anticipated that 98% of employers would be non-levy paying. They would also negotiate the cost of training with their chosen provider, and would continue to have access to Government funding to support apprenticeships but would be expected to make a financial contribution towards those costs. It was not currently known what the level of contribution would be. If levy paying employers had an under-spend, that money would be put into a separate pot to support non-levy paying employers who could then bid for extra funding. If levy paying business spent all of their contributions and top-ups, co-funding would be available from Government with the employer being asked to co-invest a small proportion of funding towards the extra cost of training.

 

Mr Warnes informed the Partnership that Levy Support Services would be available from London South East Colleges including free consultancy support, an online levy calculator and downloadable materials and literature. It was planned that Skills Summit events would take place in autumn 2016 and spring 2017 to bring stakeholders together, and workshops for levy and non-levy employers would be arranged in collaboration with the Bromley Education Business Partnership. It was hoped that these could highlight to local companies the importance of using their pots of money to avoid the allocation for the Borough being spread across the country, and enable the use of contacts within the supply chain.

 

Ms Holland reported that the National Health Service and Local Authorities would be at the forefront of the scheme due to their current wage bills. The London Borough of Bromley levy, based on the current full time equivalent staff numbers, would be in the region of £350,000 and the number of apprentices would need to be increased to 34. It was anticipated that as funding could be used to upskill established staff, this would be carried out to reach the target. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

UPDATES ON MAIN PARTNERSHIP THEMES AND OTHER RELEVANT COUNCIL INITIATIVES:

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership gave an update around progress across the main themes of the Partnership.

6a

TOWN CENTRES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Virgil Rappa, LBB Town Centre Development Project Planner attended to provide an update on Town Centre Development across the Borough. Progress was continuing across the sites that made up the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan.

 

Bromley Town Centre was designated as a Housing Zone on 17th March 2016, with the possibility of receiving up to £27.1m pending final agreement with the Council. Subject to the outcome of the final agreement the funding could be used to accelerate the delivery of housing and infrastructure including Opportunity Site G: West of the High Street and Opportunity Site A: Bromley North Station.

 

At the meeting of the Executive on 23rd March 2016, it was agreed that the Greater London Authority’s Development Panel would be used to procure a development partner for Opportunity Site G. It was anticipated that the process would be completed by November 2016.

 

The Draft Local Plan would include a revised policy for former Opportunity Site A of the Area Action Plan following a viability assessment which had shown that the original proposed mixed use scheme consisting of 250 residential units would not be viable. The London Borough of Bromley was currently engaged with local stakeholders, Network Rail and the developers to help inform the appropriate massing and viability options for the site.

 

The Concept Design report produced by Studio Egret West for the Bromley Town Central High Street Public Realm Improvements had been agreed and the detailed design work had commenced. The proposals included relocating the market and eight semi-permanent kiosks, plus hard and soft landscaping.

 

Detailed construction design drawings had also been completed for the Beckenham Town Centre Improvements. Following consultation with the Beckenham Town Centre Working Group, a few details were now being reviewed. A decision from Transport for London (TfL) for extra funding had been expected in April 2016 following the submission of a new business case by the London Borough of Bromley. The latest information from TfL is that a decision would be made towards the end of July 2016 or beginning of August 2016. If successful, work was expected to commence in early autumn 2016.

 

With regards to other projects in Orpington and Penge town centres, the first phase of the detailed design for the Orpington Walnuts Centre Public Realm Scheme would be made available soon. Plans included improved paving, more seating, better lighting, signage for Orpington Library and a mural for the Walnuts Leisure Centre. In Penge town centre additional funding had been secured from Transport for London to implement extended paving and bus route and junction improvement work. Officers would also be implementing a shop front improvement scheme and a business support package which included business mentoring and the development of a town centre website.

 

The Growth Project had been focussing on certain strategic development sites within the Cray Corridor. These were the Klingers building, land to the rear of Edgington Way and the Allied Bakery site. Work was continuing with the site owners to bring forward development,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a

6b

LOCAL PLAN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Partnership members were informed that the Local Plan had been discussed at the Development Control Committee on Monday 11th July 2016, and would be considered by the Council’s Executive at its next meeting on 20th July 2016 with a view to releasing it for public consultation. The public consultation would take place from September 2016 for six weeks, following which it would be submitted to the Secretary of State for the Examination in Public during autumn 2016.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Local Plan be noted.

 

6c

TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Martin Pinnell, LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support, gave an update on progress across the main Partnership themes of Town Centre Management and Business Support in Quarter 1, 2016/17.

 

Local Authority officers were continuing work to develop and support Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the borough. A feasibility study had been completed regarding a BID for Beckenham and Penge. It had been extremely positive and Councillors would be approached to approve funding to develop the process. These were separate BIDs, but would share back office costs to make them more viable. It was planned that ballots would be held at the end of 2017.

 

RESOLVED that the recent work around Town Centre Management and Business Support in the 1st Quarter of 2016/17 be noted.

 

6d

BROMLEY YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROJECT ROUND 2 UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Lesley Holland (Bromley Education Business Partnership) gave an update on the Bromley Youth Employment Project (Round 2) which had been developed by the Local Authority to support sustainable employment opportunities for young people who were unemployed.

 

The project had reached its target to support 100 young people into contracted employment. The London Borough of Bromley Councillors and Corporate Leadership Team had been very supportive of the project and its outcomes, and it was likely to be extended for a further two years.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Bromley Youth Employment Project be noted.

 

7.

PARTNER UPDATES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOINT WORKING TO INCLUDE:

Minutes:

Updates are provided in the relevant sub sections.

7a

BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Ms Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport provided an update on developments at London Biggin Hill Airport following its identification as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan, and as part of the LoCATE (London Centre for Aviation Technology and Enterprise) project which brought together a cluster of modern aviation-related businesses at and around London Biggin Hill Airport to support continued economic development in the area.

 

Ms Woolcott was pleased to inform the group that the new opening hours had been approved and documents were due to be signed that day. Noise sensing equipment and GPS would then start to be installed. Bombardier was one of the two new tenants that had moved on to the site and taken 50,000sq ft for an incubator business, and planned a greater size project in a few years’ time. The second new tenant was Signature, an American company specialising in fixed-base operation (FBO).

 

7b

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Mike Lewis (Michael Rogers LLP) was not present at the meeting, but Mr Dave Freeborn, Proctors commented on the residential market and said that in terms of sales the future was uncertain but they were currently carrying on as normal. Many buyers were taking advantage of the uncertainty to renegotiate their offers, but they were still seeing full price offers being made. Land sales were currently fine, with companies looking for purchasing opportunities. It was noted that multinationals were taking a more cautious approach.

7c

COMMUNITY LINKS BROMLEY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Colin Maclean (Community Links Bromley) advised the Partnership that another of the successful Corporate Social Responsibility Expo events was planned for the 10th November 2016, and would be held at the Orpington Campus of Bromley College. Further details would be provided at the next meeting.

 

7d

GENERAL NEWS ROUND (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.

 

Ms Kate Miller (intu Bromley) was not present at the meeting but provided a written update to the Partnership as follows:

 

Intu Bromley

  Footfall remained tough at -4% for the year to date but there had been a change of behaviour, with customers staying longer in the centre and spending more. Gift card sales were very strong and the average transaction value had increased by 10% compared to last year.

  The Restaurant Terrace adjacent to the Queen’s Gardens was now fully open and trading well with very positive feedback from customers. There was still some work to finish including signage, lobby works and some external landscaping. The centre was planning a food festival in September 2016 working with all the food outlets in the centre.

  The main centre was now trading until 7pm each night (still 9pm on a Thursday). The new restaurants would trade until 11pm.

  Recently opened new tenants in the main centre were Kuoni, Skechers and Lovisa.

  Completed refurbishments had taken place for Body Shop, Joe’s Kitchen, Patisserie Valerie and Massimo Dutti.

  Ongoing works included H&M commencing a full refurbishment and taking additional space.

  With regards to vacant units, the majority were in negotiation with one due to start shop fitting imminently.

 

Bromley BID

  Had now completed its first quarter as a live BID.

  Frances Forrest had settled in well as BID Manager and now had an Events & Marketing Coordinator, Thomas Zane-Black.

  There were now two smaller working groups focussing on:

  1. Promotion of the town (The “Prominent” group)

  2. Security and appearance of the town (The “Safety & Smart” group)

  First major event held during the second week of Wimbledon. Results would be reviewed properly but some very positive comments from customers about the quality of the event. It had been supported by a number of businesses offering discounts and promotional offers.

  The next meeting of the BID Advisory Group was 13th July 2016.

 

Ms Erica Watts and Mr Sean McGinn, Affinity Sutton, informed the Partnership of a new European Social Fund (ESF) project, ‘Love London Working’ which would be looking to work with local providers to get people back into work. The project had initially been established to support their residents, but was now being match funded by Affinity Sutton to support anyone needing help. Members of the Partnership were encouraged to engage with Affinity Sutton if they would be interested in participating. It was also noted that Affinity Sutton had a well-established apprenticeship scheme and could provide support to employers.

 

Ms Liz Waghorn, Jobcentre Plus, reported the latest figures to the end of April 2016. There had been a decrease in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance to 1,920, which was encouraging. The 18-24 year old category had also seen a decrease to 265 creating a 41.1% reduction. It was noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7d

8.

BROMLEY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WORK PROGRAMME 2016/17 (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership considered the forward rolling work programme for the Bromley Economic Partnership for 2016/17.

 

In considering the next meeting of the Partnership, the Chairman requested that a representative of a national or regional business / employer organisation be invited to provide a presentation on the effect of the Brexit Referendum on the London economy and on SMEs in particular. It was also agreed that the October meeting would be held at London Biggin Hill Airport.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Work Programme be noted.

9.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

The Chairman and members of the group extended their thanks to Mr Mark Henderson for his contribution to the Partnership and wished him all the best.

10.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th October 2016

4.00pm, Tuesday 10th January 2017

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Minutes:

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th October 2016

4.00pm, Tuesday 10th January 2017

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th April 2017

 

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