Blog: Anglesey chapel conversion now on market after Brexit and pandemic hit funding hopes – North Wales Live

A chapel with plans in place to transform it into a holiday let, cinema and restaurant is on the market after Brexit and the pandemic hit a community’s bid to carry out the redevelopment.

Cemaes Community Interest Company (CIC) secured permission in 2018 to convert Capel Bethlehem. This included a restaurant premises with up to 100 covers, a further mezzanine dining area, an 82 seat cinema, heritage centre, and two retail units. There were also plans to convert an existing dwelling – Ty Capel – into a one bedroom luxury self-catering unit

They obtained some funding towards the Cemaes Bay project in 2020 and this year looked for other operators to get on board.

READ MORE: Holiday park developer apologises for dropping Welsh place name

But now the site has gone on the market with estate agent Dafydd Hardy for £400,000. The CIC said grant funding of the scale required has been very difficult to source post Brexit and the pandemic. There are claims Wales is £1bn worse off after losing EU funding following Brexit – with lost grant money not fully replaced by UK Government.

The CIC added: “Our planning consent window to progress the development project also closes in November 2023. Selling the property now opens up the opportunity for new investment which we sincerely hope will achieve elements of our original plans for the benefit of the community.

Capel Bethlehem in Cemaes site
(Image: Cemaes CIC)

“Grant funding awarded to us from the Wales for Council for Voluntary Action, Cronfa Padrig Trust, Anglesey Charitable Trust and Magnox Ltd will be returned to them as part of the sale completion and Cemaes CIC will continue to operate as a business with the aim of contributing to the positive future development of Llanbadrig Parish and its residents.”

It is now hoped a developer can come in and take on the ambitious regeneration project.

Estate agent Dafydd Hardy said: “Ty Capel & Capel Bethlehem comprises of a former chapel building with an attached two storey cottage constructed around 1856. Planning permission has been granted (November 2018) for the development of the now redundant buildings, in a project which encompasses the embankment leading down to the car park below, to provide a substantial leisure and retail complex which will be of enormous benefit to the local community, the wider locality and also providing potential for an excellent long-term investment opportunity for the purchaser of this site.”

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Blog: Wetherspoons confirm closure of Purley pub as Brexit bites – Inside Croydon

The Foxley Hatch in Purley is to close by the end of October, one of 32 Wetherspoons pubs put up for sale across the country.

Going soon: the Foxley Hatch in Purley closes at the end of October

The Foxley Hatch will be the third Wetherspoons in Croydon to close this year, following the Skylark in South Croydon and the Milan Bar in the town centre. Neither of those venue has yet re-opened under new management.

The widescale sale of pub properties by Wetherspoons, the company run by Brexit enthusiast Tim Martin, has been widely interpreted as one of the latest consequences of the cost-of-living crisis that has been, at least in part, aggravated by the impact of Brexit.

A Wetherspoons spokesperson was quoted this week as saying that the closures and disposals were because repairs and staff costs rendered their no-nonsense drinking culture financially perilous.

If a FTSE-250 company is being hit this hard by the Tory-created recession, there must be hundreds of other independent pubs and smaller companies who must be fearful for the future of their businesses as energy costs soar.

JD Wetherspoon operates around 800 pubs in the UK and Ireland, and said its closures are a “commercial decision”. More than half of the pubs slated for closure are in London and the south-east.

Cost of Brexit: Tim Martin

The sites are a mix of 10 freehold and 22 leasehold units.

“We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it,” a spokesperson for the company said.

A Foxley Hatch regular told Inside Croydon: “We heard the whisper at the weekend. It’s a shock, and a disappointment, too.

“The staff here work ever so hard, and the place has always seemed busy. But then, from what we heard, the Skylark did decent business, too, and they closed that. We reckon there’s a lot more to this decision.”

Among the other ‘Spoons put on the market are the Wrong ‘Un in Bexleyheath, the Asparagus in Battersea and the Bankers Draft in Eltham.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London.
Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com

Blog: Post-Brexit rules are hammering our creative industries – but there is a solution – CapX

In March 2019, The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey was asked whether leaving the EU would be ‘bad for British rock music’. An incredulous Daltrey replied: ‘No. What’s it got to do with the rock business? How are you going to tour in Europe? Oh dear. As if we didn’t tour Europe before the f***ing EU. Oh, give it up!’

I suspect most Brexiteers would have agreed with him, nobody voted Leave hoping or expecting the disruption of the music industry. I know I didn’t. Unfortunately, post-Brexit rules have made it very complex and expensive for artists and performers to operate in Europe, and for some it is simply unviable.

A long-established, globally famous band like The Who can navigate the red tape, deal with the bureaucracy, and absorb the costs (or pass them onto their fans via ticket prices) but lesser names will struggle, and emerging talent will be hit hard. The next generation will face challenges that will be insurmountable for many, who knows what talent we will miss out on?

The UK is a cultural dynamo with a world-leading, economically vital creative sector. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport estimates that the creative industries contribute £115.9bn to the UK, accounting for 5.9% of our economic output.

The music industry alone contributed £5.8bn in 2019, while in the same year the UK fishing industry contributed just £536 million. It was the latter, however, which received far more attention from the media and politicians during the Brexit negotiations, while our creative industries were all but left out – an omission whose consequences we are now suffering.

The introduction of visas and work permits has made travelling across the EU27 significantly more complex. UK professionals have lost their right to travel, tour and exhibit in Europe as easily as they once did. Touring now means navigating 27 different sets of visa and work permit rules. Creatives and technical workers are also limited by the 90-day limit on time spent in the Schengen area in a 180-day period.

The transport of goods and equipment is now needlessly complex and expensive, and less well-resourced creatives simply cannot manage the costs and administrative burden. The current system requires equipment manifests known as ‘carnets’ to transport equipment and large instruments into the EU.

Even a quick one-off event or show requires an expensive and time-consuming carnet, with each lorry reporting to the correct border location for the carnet to be checked and stamped crossing the border each way. The impact of this on small to medium-sized bands, musicians and theatre groups is devastating, and has the potential to absorb all the profits from a tour.

The profit from merchandise sales is often what makes a tour viable. Now those sales are subject to customs rules applying to shipments into the EU above a certain value. Creatives now need to register and pay VAT in each country and comply with different rules, meaning more time-consuming paperwork, border checks, duties and charges.

Road haulage limits in the EU add to the cost and complexity of touring for creatives and technical workers. Touring lorries are subject to the restrictions on haulage set out in the TCA, meaning under basic cabotage rules they are only allowed to make a maximum of two stops in the EU after dropping off goods from the UK. They must then return home within seven days.

Take, for example, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre group. Like all touring productions they are now limited to two additional destinations before returning to the UK, only to then go to two further EU cities. Previously they toured 12 or more European cities in a row. And when an orchestra now wants to move their instruments by truck, they are better off using an EU-registered commercial operator, meaning UK hauliers are losing business.

These challenges combine to create a significant threat to the future success of our creative industries. Emerging and established artists, performers and technical workers face difficult choices, to continue as they are and make far less money, to change career of leave the UK.

Brexit was never meant to mean risking stifling the next Adele, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys or Ed Sheeran. It was never meant to damage our theatre companies or orchestras or hit the millions of technical workers that support the sector.

A ’cultural exemption’ should be added to the Trade and Co-operation Agreement as soon as possible, and should at the very least be negotiated when the TCA is formally reviewed in 2026. This should mean removing visa and work permit restrictions on short-term, cultural visits to the EU, replacing the burdensome carnet with a more agile system suited to the temporary movement of goods and equipment for tours and one-off events, and reducing limits on road haulage stops for all cultural activities.

How likely is the EU to agree with this?

Well, it’s important to note that viable proposals were on the table during the original negotiations. The EU suggested a visa waiver agreement, but the UK rejected this as it involved compromise on regulatory autonomy. Former Brexit Minister Lord Frost accepts that this was an error, arguing that the UK was ‘too purist’ on issues including the temporary movement of musicians and artists.

Former European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding proposed the adoption of a cultural passport for the creative industries and recently the All-party parliamentary group on Music published a report recommending the addition of a ‘Cultural Touring Agreement’ to the TCA. So it seems clear that workable solutions and political will are there.

This will, however, require negotiation, and the ongoing discussions over the Northern Ireland Protocol may delay progress on this and other issues. In the meantime, the Government should offer musicians and touring artists an ‘export support package’ modelled on the support offered to the fishing industry to help them navigate the post-Brexit environment.

Brexit is a process, not an event, and the TCA is a foundation that must be built on to make it work. The UK creative sector is a source of envy in Europe and world, we should be doing everything we can to let it flourish.

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Ben Kelly is a member of the Independent Commission on UK-EU relations, read the full report.

Columns are the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of CapX.

Blog: Channel migrants: More children crossing to UK since Brexit as official routes ‘can’t compete’ with smugglers – iNews

Rising numbers of unaccompanied children have been trying to reach the UK via Channel crossings since Brexit as charity workers warn they “cannot compete” with people smugglers under post-EU migration rules.

Since Brexit, charity Safe Passage said that more people have been driven to cross the Channel in small boats due to the loss of the EU’s Dublin regulation, which helped facilitate family reunion for children.

Prior to the UK withdrawing from this agreement, all of the unaccompanied children whom the charity were helping to reunite with family went through the legal channels. But last year, over half are reported to have “lost faith in the legal process” and are likely to have travelled to the UK irregularly.  

“We cannot compete with smugglers anymore, who promise children they can reach the UK in just days or weeks,” said Beth Gardiner-Smith, CEO of Safe Passage International.

Channel crossings among those from all ages have been broadly increasing but the figures for children are stark, i can reveal.

In 2018, just 25 under 18s were recorded as crossing to the UK via the Channel. In 2019, this was 308.

But in 2020, following Brexit, the figure rose sharply to 1,449, reaching 4,321 in 2021. This year’s figures are set to exceed last year’s, with 1,866 children recorded as crossing the Channel from January to June alone. The figure will see an uptick from the summer months, when good weather means that more Channel crossings take place.

These children are some of thousands arriving on the UK’s shores in small boats each year.

So far this year, more than 30,000 people have already crossed to the UK in small boats – and the figure is on the rise. According to Government figures, roughly 28,500 people were detected arriving on small boats in 2021, up from 8,500 in 2020, 1,800 in 2019 and 300 in 2018.

Organised by people smugglers, the journeys can be life-threatening, as well as feeding into a business model based on exploitation. They also pile additional pressure on Border Force officials already facing staff shortages.

While the debate about migration in the UK has often become heated and charged, those from across the political spectrum agree on one thing: these crossings aren’t a solution.

Tackling Channel crossings is likely to be top of the agenda for new Home Secretary Suella Braverman. So, what’s the answer?

Blog: FHFA makes two personnel appointments – Mortgage Professional

“Having already served as a detailee in the office of the director since June, Karen will continue to be a key advisor and leverage her decision-making and subject matter expertise to provide strategic and operational excellence across the agency,” said FHFA director Sandra Thompson.

Read next: FHFA opens probe into FHLBanks system

Frumkin has been with the agency since 2014 as a senior financial writer. Prior to that, he was a senior policy analyst at the CFPB. Frumkin also worked for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation earlier in his 27-year career.

“Through his previous positions as principal advisor within both the office of the director and the division of mission and housing goals, as well as his policy and supervisory background at a number of other federal financial regulators, Sam’s holistic view of financial institution supervision will enable him to play a key role in ensuring FHFA meets a wide range of its statutory responsibilities,” Thompson said.

Blog: Cloud contracts in financial services: issues beyond regulation – Pinsent Masons

In relation to service levels, if firms are in a position to negotiate with the service provider over its standard offering, the main things to consider are how firm the commitment is to meet the service level agreements (SLAs). Firms will want to avoid loose “targets” or “reasonable endeavours” obligations. In most cases, the SLA the firm will care about most is “availability” – firms cannot control things like an internet network outage, but there are a number of things to consider. These include:

  • The definition of “available” – making clear that this means that the solution is operating in accordance with the specification. Firms should watch out for “grace periods” before remedies can be triggered – this may be ok for firms to accept, but they will want to ensure these periods are not so lengthy that they prejudice the remedy.
  • The exclusions from availability – it is reasonable for there to be some “planned maintenance”, but firms will want to ensure that this work is carried outside of their normal working hours, unless there’s an emergency. Firms need to be aware that the “normal working hours” of US-based suppliers will be different to theirs where they are operating in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. Firms should also try, where possible, to negotiate that planned maintenance is not scheduled to take place during any relevant peak periods, such as year-end. Firms should further watch out for “public holidays” being permitted planned maintenance periods – that can have unintended consequences if the service provider is, for example, based in the US.
  • Make sure that the availability calculation is straightforward – include a worked example if necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Look out for any customer dependencies – these are likely to trigger relief from liability for the cloud service provider if not met, so it is important that the financial institution reviews these carefully, ensures that the drafting is appropriately specific and then ensures that operationally processes are put in place to ensure they are met.

Many service providers will not commit to proactively reporting on SLAs, so the financial institution may have to track this themselves and make claims for service credits if necessary.

Liability

Often there is a real imbalance between the cost of the solution and the risks that would arise if things went wrong. This can make negotiations over liability difficult.

At its most basic, this is about risk sharing and how much risk the service provider is prepared to take – their position will often be that they don’t want to be liable for any more than the annual charges. It can also be difficult to get service providers to accept liability outside of the cap. This feels particularly jarring in the case of loss of data, which we often see excluded altogether by suppliers, in cases where in our view it is actually the supplier’s primary obligation under the arrangement – such as where it is contracted to host the data.

Provisions governing liability in relation to loss of data also need careful scrutiny. The service provider may state that their obligation is limited to restoring from last backup – it is important to know who is actually responsible for taking backups, and how frequently this happens.

We are starting to see more service providers agreeing to ‘super caps’ for data protection liability – it is very rare for this to be accepted on an unlimited basis in the context of SaaS contracts. Other areas that financial institutions will want to consider for higher liability caps, if not accepted on an unlimited basis, are breach of confidentiality or third party intellectual property rights.

Some service providers are asking financial institutions to accept unlimited liability in areas that perhaps are not always felt to be “the norm”. A good example of this is breach of the service provider’s acceptable use policy – however, depending on the nature of the SaaS solution, it may be justifiable for the financial institution to accept this level of liability. We have seen this becoming more common in the provision by SaaS providers of platforms for use by customers.

Termination and suspension

While financial institutions have regulatory obligations to address termination rights in their cloud contracts, service providers will also come to the table with their own ‘wish list’ of termination rights.

We have seen service providers try to negotiate broader termination rights than many financial institutions are comfortable with – including termination for convenience. We have had some success in getting those removed from the contract and the right to terminate pared down to only where the customer does not pay the charges.

However, depending on the nature of the services, the service provider may insist on a right to terminate for the financial institution’s material breach. Firms can try to argue back that the primary obligation of the customer is to pay charges, and that this can be covered with a specific termination right, but some service providers will also be concerned about misuse of intellectual property rights, for example, and say that damages are not a sufficient remedy for a breach of licensing provisions. If firms have to agree to this, the best way to mitigate the risk is by negotiating longer notice periods and opportunities to remedy the breach before termination rights can be triggered.

Linked to termination is suspension. Often cloud contracts will contain provisions allowing the service provider to suspend access to the application, usually for triggers that overlap with the termination rights. One of the more common grounds for suspension is where the financial institution is in breach of the acceptable use policy – this will normally relate to the financial institution threatening the security of the service provider or other customers of the service provider.

Suspension rights are likely to be a requirement of the service provider, but it is possible for firms to negotiate opportunities to remedy, requirements on the service provider to consider reasonable alternatives to suspension, and commitments to reinstate the service immediately upon resolution of the issue.

Acceptable use policy

The service provider is likely to require the financial institution to agree to adhere to its acceptable use policy. This is pretty standard, and will include things like the financial institution agreeing not to engage in illegal activities, distribute malware, or try to gain unauthorised access, for example.

Intellectual property

It is typical, in relation to intellectual property provisions in SaaS or public cloud contracts, for the financial institution to be asked by the service provider to warrant that it owns or has all necessary rights to use its content and that the content will not breach the acceptable use policy.

It is also standard for the financial institution to seek to ensure that the contract specifies that it continues to own content it uploads to the cloud service, and for the cloud service provider to retain ownership of all aspects of its cloud services.

The cloud service provider will also seek broad rights to manage claims for infringement against it – including being able to substitute an alternative solution or terminate the contract. Firms should seek to ensure that substitution rights are qualified by reference to there being no material loss of functionality.

Warranties

Firms should expect to obtain less warranty protection in the context of cloud solutions than they can do in other large IT procurements. However, where the cloud system is more crucial to the financial institution or more bespoke, more than basic warranty protection would be appropriate.

Either way, financial institutions should look to include warranties that the service will comply with applicable law and operate in accordance with the service description, that use of the service by the customer will not infringe the IP rights of any third party, and that the service will not include any malware or viruses etc. Firms should watch out for statements that the service is provided on an ‘as is’ basis or similar – they are paying for the service, and so should be entitled to a basic level of protection at least.

Force majeure

The force majeure provisions in cloud contracts should be scrutinised carefully by financial institutions in the context of the arrangement. They should: