Friday, March 28, 2008

Rank Hypocrisy

Yet more evidence of the marvellous, reinvigorating effect that Westwood Cross is having on the economy of our local towns!

As you know, leisure group Rank has upped sticks from our splendid, listed Royal Pavilion here in the Millionaires' Playground to re-install its casino in a shed up Westwood Chaos, leaving the Pav in a right old state by all accounts. The building was leased to Rank by the the predecessor of our beloved council eons ago, when even Brucie was in short trousers. Reader 'Walter of Ramsgate' has done a Freedom of Information search at the council asking how they intend to go about getting the place ship shape and Bristol fashion, and they've replied thus:

A lease was granted by Ramsgate Borough in 1969 for a term of 75 years on a fully repairing and insuring basis. The lease is covered by the various Landlord and Tenant Acts. The Council, as landlord, is aware of current disrepair and a full schedule of dilapidations has been prepared. The Council is looking to the tenant to address these in accordance with the terms of the lease and provisions of the relevant Acts. Costs associated with remedying the disrepair should be borne by the tenant either in directly undertaking the works or via the judicial system.

Meanwhile Rank have been treating City types to tours of their new Westworld Cross casino-cum-shed, according to Guardian Unlimited, in an attempt to prove they've got a full house of people wanting a, er, full house. GU's Market Forces Live reports:

Take up of good quality electronic bingo offer appeared to be high. The casino used the G Casino format we have seen elsewhere, designed to appeal to a mass-market audience. We saw no radical new departures last night but we did see a business with ideas for the eventual improvement of its product.

Overall there was a good atmosphere in a club with a pleasant design and it was easy to see why admissions were running above budget, particularly after a brief look at the centre of Margate where what was not run-down was boarded up.

Seems like one of those self-propelling prophecies to me!

Click here to see Rank report in Guardian Unlimited
Click here to see photos from City analyst visit to Westwood casino


Fred said...

Useless bit of information of the day:

The 75 year lease to the Pavillion is registered to a company called:

"Pleasurama Properties Limited".

(I gather there have been various take overs in the casino businesses over the years.)



Eastcliff Richard said...


Michael Child said...

I suspect that Rank would be more sensitive to adverse publicity than anything, perhaps you could come up with something on that front.

Eastcliff Richard said...

I think I'm trying my best with 'Rank Hypocrisy'!

fred said...

I'd be suprised if Rank *didn't* repair the pavilion.

If they believe the Pavilion lease to be worth £650,000, then it would be strange business practice to risk forfeiting the lease by refusing to do the repairs once TDC had served a repairs notice on them.

There may be arguements about what exactly needs to be done and how long they have to do it, but I would have thought TDC is in a pretty strong position as the freeholder.

I wonder which of the many seafront buildings gets renovated first: The Pavilion, West Cliff Hall or The Marina Restaurant.


Anonymous said...

None of them.

fred said...

The Marina Restaurant has recently gained a few extra pieces of scafolding AND some anti-climb paint on the timber boarding !!!

I think that places it well ahead of the other two !


R. Sonist said...

Should go up nicely then!

Anonymous said...


Good bit of info this - so not useless at all? I have had a look at the schedule of dilapidation it does not make for pleasant reading.

Its going to cost a lot more than the lease to rectify that little list.

having looked at old postcards and comparing them to the current state of the building, it looks like TDC will have to insist that the old entrance has to be rebuilt or have the building delisted? Oh dear