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Heathrow’s financial position remains robust with £3.2bn of cash and committed facilities available to the business, while management continues ongoing work to reduce the airport’s cost base, says the airport.
This is in response to credit rating agency Standard & Poor lowering by one notch the long-term ratings on Class A and Class B debt issued by Heathrow Funding Limited, with both retaining negative outlooks due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Heathrow retains investment grade credit ratings on its Class A and Class B debt which now stand at BBB+ and BBB- respectively.
The airport says the decision reflects Standard & Poor’s updated view on airports and forecast for a global recession that will result in a slower recovery in passenger traffic. The agency notes “the airport sector in Europe is facing an unprecedented decline in air traffic as Europe has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic and the governments have introduced travel restrictions and quarantine orders. In addition, S&P Global Ratings now expects a eurozone and global recession in 2020, which will likely slow the recovery in passenger traffic.”
Heathrow Chief Financial Officer Javier Echave said: “The spread of COVID-19 is having a tragic human cost and significant effects across the global aviation industry. Prudent management and investment in the airport over the past decade puts Heathrow in a strong financial position. We’ve taken steps to reduce our cost base and reorganise our operation which will help us keep Britain’s hub airport operating and protect vital supply lines throughout this crisis. We will continue working to restore our strong rating as soon as possible”.
Nick Belsten, of WSP, kicked the discussion off with one of the key points, saying: “The government have committed to some quite rigorous standards, and over the next decades going to have to respond. It will be important to bring everyone together and work collaboratively”.
The plans involve demolishing the Greenford Homebase store and redeveloping that site as a new Tesco with multi-level parking and homes above. The store was designed in 1987 by Grimshaw Architects, and was granted a five year certificate of immunity from listing in January 2020.
It is reported that SEGRO are in advanced negotiations to acquire the Perivale Park Industrial Estate.
The park, owned by Hermes, has been on the market, and it is understood that SEGRO are close to finalising a c£200m deal. The estate includes a dozen units of varying sizes, up to around 70,000 sq ft.
The PRP Architects designed scheme involves the demolition of the existing buildings on the site on Nightingale Lane, and their replacement with a 654 home development of which 245 will be affordable.
Ealing is often called the “Queen of the Suburbs”, and it remains a popular place to live among Londoners.
Now the latest “Best places to live” list from The Times ranks it third in the whole of London. The combination of established desirable locations with well-designed new developments, the high quality environment with many excellent parks and museums, and the fabulous connections to central London, the rest of West London, and the world via Heathrow put it very high on the desirability list.
Connectivity will increase still further when Crossrail opens, with Ealing Broadway station (pictured above) then just 19 minutes from Liverpool Street.
Councillor Keith Ferry, Harrow Council, said: “I am delighted to have been invited to attend this important milestone in the development, on the site of the former Cumberland Hotel. This project provides much needed homes for Harrow.”
Pay and Play membership. The new membership means everyone now has the chance to live a more active lifestyle and enjoy the perks of the newly-overhauled fitness centres.
Dan Zakai, CEO and co-founder, Mindspace said: “With a global track record of over 30 successful locations in 7 countries and 16 cities, inclusive of London – the coworking capital of the world, we are excited to take the next step in our growth. We plan to bring our unique flex space approach to this building and create a space that our partners and members can be proud to call their office.”
Romulus has submitted plans for a major refurbishment of 3 Shortlands, the central Hammersmith office building.
3 Shortlands, currently home to Hammersmith & Fulham Council while their town hall is refurbished, would be expanded and reclad under the plans, adding 110,000 sq ft of office space, a 240-room, Accor Adagio-operated hotel, as well as retail space, and an arts and craft hub to the existing 181,000 sq ft building.
The additional offices would be operated by Romulus’s co-working brand, Huddle, which is already in occupation in the curtrent building. Other tenants include Love Holiday, Formula E, Bullion Vault and Jac Travel.
The plans, designed by Fletcher Priest, would be delivered in two phases between now and 2027.
Construction work could start on the new hotel in early 2021 if consent is granted.
The Parcels not Pollution service was launched last September. It uses an e-cargo bike for business deliveries in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush town centres. It reduces congestion and improves air quality in town centres. With most journeys involving several deliveries, it means potentially thousands of van trips removed from busy town centres.
The Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, has today announced changes to the London Borough of Culture programme in response to the impact of coronavirus, meaning Brent’s time in the spotlight will continue in to 2021.
Brent 2020 is rescheduling its programme until later in 2020, with the Kilburn High Street Party and Liberty Festival, the Mayor of London’s free festival celebrating of the work of Deaf and disabled artists, happening in the summer of 2021. Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture will move to 2022. Croydon will remain London Borough of Culture for 2023.
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “It’s important that we all follow the Government’s instructions to stay at home unless it is essential to leave. But we do not want Londoners to miss out on the amazing creative programmes that Brent, Lewisham and Croydon have planned, so that is why we have re-scheduled our plans. We will work closely with artists, the boroughs and all those involved to ensure they are supported during these challenging times.”
The partners say their vision for Finchley Central is to “deliver a new heart to the town centre: one that provides affordable, sustainable homes, places to work and public spaces to enjoy”.
Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “This transport strategy is aimed at making Barnet a better place to live, work, study, and visit over the next 20 years. We want to make it easier to get about, particularly given the significant future increase in families and older people in Barnet. The infrastructure we have today will not be fit for the larger population of tomorrow. This family-friendly strategy also sets out how we will help people lead healthier and more active lives and reduce the damaging effects of air pollution.”
Barnet is already home to 394,400 residents – more than in any other London borough. This figure is expected to grow to almost 450,000 by 2030, with many more elderly people.
As there is a finite amount of road space in the borough, congestion can only be addressed by reducing reliance on the car. The council is encouraging residents to use more sustainable and active methods of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport.
The strategy sets out plans to improve various methods of transport, with greater travel options made available for residents to help them lead more active lifestyles.
The consultation will run until Friday 24 April 2020.