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Trafford Centre might be forced to close as owners Intu ‘prepare administration plan’

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TOOEDDD / Wikimedia

Intu, the owner of the Trafford Centre, has warned that the shopping centre may be forced to shut. 

Intu has appointed KPMG to prepare a contingency plan for administration and has warned shoppers the famous Trafford Centre might be forced to close, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Intu Properties is currently struggling with £5bn debt and remains locked in crunch talks with lenders after being hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

The group also owns Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, and confirmed today they have KPMG on standby as administrator. It is currently negotiating details with lenders as it looks to secure breathing space ahead of a looming deadline on Friday.

Jonathan Hutchins

Intu is hoping to arrange a ‘standstill agreement’ on terms of up to 18 months but said it’s likely this will only be 15 months.

Its lenders have explain that ‘there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period’ if they cannot reach an agreement. 

Intu Properties is trying to negotiate a freeze on loan repayments, however increasing demands from landlords is reportedly making this unlikely.

The company put agreements with creditors on hold to ride out the coronavirus pandemic at the start of June, wavering debts until June 26th, however, according to reports it expects to breach debt commitments by this deadline amid falling falling rental payments. 

Mike Peel

The company announced in May ‘robust action’ against large tenant businesses who haven’t paid their rent during the coronavirus lockdown.

For the first quarter of the year, the company only received 40% of rent and services charges which were due by the end of March 2020.

The firm, which lost £2bn in 2019, warned in March it could collapse if it cannot find further funds.

A statement by Intu on May 18th said that: “in particular looking to achieve stability through standstill-based agreements with relevant financial stakeholders across its structures, at both the asset and group level.”

Seth Whales

The standstill strategy statement says: “At this stage it is not expected that the duration will exceed 15 months.

“How the operations of individual centres are to be funded. Some centres haver educed rent collections as a result of Covid-19 and cash trapped under their financing arrangements which restrict their ability to pay for support (such as shopping centre staff) from other entities in the Intu group.

“Securing additional funding in centres funded by bond structures is more difficult to achieve and, in this connection, consent will be sought shortly from the stockholders of Intu Debenture PLC to authorise the trustee to release certain monies within the existing debt structure to be used for short term liquidity needs.

“Other centres may also require cash injections for these purposes. This all remains subject to further negotiations, with no certainty as to whether Intu will achieve a standstill, or on what terms or for what duration.

“Further announcements will be made as appropriate. Notwithstanding the progress made with lenders, Intu has also appointed KPMG to contingency plan for administration. In the event that Intu Properties plc is unable to reach a standstill, it is likely it and certain other central entities will fall into administration.

“In this situation, all property companies would be required to pre-fund the administrator to provide central services to the shopping centres. If the administrator is not pre-funded then there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period.”

Eirian Evans / Geograph

Intu Properties own nine of the country’s top 20 shopping centres and has been struggling with the shrinking high street retail market for some time. 

Intu is laden with debts estimated to be around £5bn. The value of the shopping centres have fallen by £1.9bn due to the down turn of the market. 

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Mount Snowdon has officially changed its name following a petition

The petition got 5,000 signatures

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Raintheone / Wikimedia & George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

Mount Snowdon has officially had a name change, following a petition which garnered 5,000 signatures.

A county councillor from Gwynedd brought forward a motion which encouraged the local authority to drop the English name of both Snowdon and Snowdonia, leading to the petition.

Councillor John Pughe Roberts said the reason for implementing the motion was ‘all down to respect’ for both Wales and the Welsh language.

Caff55 / PxHere

The petition urged the National Park to formally use the Welsh names Eryri for Snowdonia and Yr Wyddfa for Snowdon.

And now, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will use both Welsh names, rather than the English versions.

Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move earlier this month, saying it was ‘a mark of respect for our cultural heritage’.

Naomi Jones, head of cultural heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: ”Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.

“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.

“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.

“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”

Raintheone / Wikimedia

However, the National Park will still legally have to use both the Welsh and English names in any official documentation.

Snowdon is one of the most well-known landmarks in the UK, and stands at 3,560ft – making it the highest mountain in Wales.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Police believe this car was used in three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

Do you recognise the vehicle?

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have released CCTV footage of a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield said: “It’s very important that we get this man identified and off the streets as soon as possible.”

Police have identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Anyone with dashcam footage from the following times, officers are keen to speak to you:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm

  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am

  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

 

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