Wednesday, July 30, 2008

News: Confident outlook from YES! developer


The latest financial results from Oak Holdings, the developers behind the £390m leisure and entertainment based resort in Rotherham, highlight the progress being made and the confident outlook for the future of the project. The Development Agreement, including the terms of the 250 year lease, is scheduled to be considered by the Cabinet of Rotherham Council (the landowners) today, following extensive negotiations between the parties and their advisers. This will raise the company's value as it considers a development loan to see the project to completion. Oak Holdings chairman Malcolm Savage said: "Despite the current economic climate, the Board remains confident that the Company can approach the future with confidence. We believe that the fundamental concept of the YES! Project will be attractive to property investors and, as such, the Board will primarily devote its energies and resources to ensuring the successful completion of the project." The YES! Project is set to create 3,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs in creating a 1.2 million sq ft covered fully integrated mixed-use leisure and entertainment based resort, activity and conference destination on a 327-acre site adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park. The site could expect to see contractor activity before the end of the year. Oak chief executive Steve Lewis said: "Today’s decision cements our ability to deliver this new and innovative scheme. It allows us to move the project into its next phases, particularly in respect of discussions with potential tenants, who will be heartened by the Cabinet’s approval." The council’s strategic director for Environment & Development Services, Karl Battersby, said: "This is a great step forward for the council, for Oak Holdings – and for the people and economy of Rotherham. We and the developers can now press ahead and turn the vision of this fantastic leisure, entertainment and sports complex into reality. "That means not just that the project will be available for people to enjoy, but also that there are up to 3,000 jobs in the pipeline, which is excellent news for people in Rotherham and a much wider area. We've always said that YES! is so big and so different that it will bring benefits far beyond South Yorkshire."


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