Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Mowlem

Hi I am from out of town and am thinking of tendering for The Mowlem. I have a catering business in Birmingham, but would love to move with my family to Swanage. I hope you don't mind me butting into your blog but I would like to ask why is the present tenant leaving? The details from the agent are very sketchy with no real lease details or ins and outs. (like who locks up, who cleans the loos, are there any maintenance issues etc). Also how would locals like the establishment to improve. Any help greatly appreciated.
all best


Anonymous said...

The present tenant is Hall and Woodhouse, a brewery with 220 pubs. It seems they are pulling out of leasehold premises. They owned a flat or two along the road from the Mowlem which were put on the market a while ago so this loks like it was planned. I cannot comment meaningfully on their relationship with the Mowlem trustees. Search though old postings on this blog for comments on the latter.

The restaurant and bar rents provide the majority of the trust's income. You can read their reports and accounts on the charity commission website. Search for Mowlem,

It has a lot of potential in the right hands. For example the downstairs bar has outside tables which get little use, possibly due to lack of lighting. The menu offers delights such as mince and mash at £4.50 and get few takers. An outside oyster bar a couple of hundred yards away does a good trade with considerably better prices.

A lot of local people think a top quality restaurant would be an asset to the town and help lots of other businesses. The Rick Stein model comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

we all ready have a curry house

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of tendering for it myself but I understand the glass in the restaurant windows (besides needing cleaning) needs replacing with toughened glass for health & safety reasons. This could cost anything up to £250 000. :-(
There is one guy apparently (trustee) who basically runs the place as a fiefdom and is opposed to any change. There are suggestions that nepotism is rife. What a shame the building has been allowed to fall in such a state, and YES, who is responsible for the deplorable state of the toilets? Presumably you have visited and seen the state of it Shaqueeb?

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong about this but I understood that windows are a landlord's fixture. Walls are so it looks logical for the doors and windows to be the same. The tenant is responsible for keeping them in the condition they were at the start of the lease, cleaning and painting etc. If a tenant changes them for something better, with the landlord's approval, they would expect recompense at the end of their tenure.

I do not know the terms of the existing lease but judging by the state of the paintwork below the restaurant windows the tenant is not responsible for the outside of the building, otherwise the trustees would have demanded their pound of flesh.

The trustees may well be resistant to change but for a theatre to have survived at all in a small seaside town is a considerable achievement. The hermetic seal they have applied to themselves is notorious locally.

By the way, does anyone know who paid for the construction of the present building? I imagine it was the ratepayers who then saw their investment given away to stop it becoming the property of the District Council and all because the latter have their office in Wareham!

Anonymous said...

I think its a all repairing/insuring lease also the toilets and lift need doing abou£700k worht of work and purchase.

Anonymous said...

If you scroll a bit further down the page there's another topic called The Mowlem!

Anonymous said...

we were just replying to a question sorry if it upset the order of things.

Anonymous said...

The lift and toilets are not part of the restaurant. If you recall the trustees have spent a fair amount on improving both and installed a new lift. I am beginning to think this thread is being used for disinformation! Is someone trying to deter possible bidders? We will be told the restaurant operator has to buy a new set of curtains for the theatre next.

Anonymous said...

By the way the area of the windows in the restaurant is approx 60-80 square metres. The downstairs bar rather less. 60 inch wide safety film is £10 a metre. That could be as much as £500 for the restaurant. This is the stuff the leader of pdc has on his office windows over Barclay's Bank so it should be good enough.

Laminated glass rather than toughened is preferable for blast resistance but there is a range of glasses with various insulating properties available. Prices depend on the type of glass but would be a fraction of the amount suggested in an earlier posting.

A full repairing lease is one where the tenant has to keep whatever they have leased fully repaired. If they lease part of a building they are hardly going to agree to repair other parts of it.

Anonymous said...

What was that comment about curry house meant to mean? Sly racist sneer? Grow up whoever said it.

Anonymous said...

My info came from someone with good knowledge of the situation also someone who has had a look at making an offer the lift and toilets do require work/contribution as the resturant would be using them so why should the mowlem pay all the cost when the resturant uses them more. also the equpiment and fixtures need either purchasing or replacing the windows do need specialist attention.

The curry house comments did make me smile tho.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The Mowlem website says "In 2003 the lift was replaced and enlarged to improve wheelchair access at a cost in excess of £65,000 and this is being complemented by an upgrade of the toilet facilities for disabled persons". Nothing about how it was paid for.

The smell that hits you as you go up the stairs certainly suggests all is not well in the gents. Making it the first thing you see as you go up to the theatre was a very strange thing for the architect to do.

If costs are shared then whoever takes the lease will need to negotiate terms they can live with obviously.

The existing tenant took it as a shell and has said they will return it to that state. Nothing to stop them selling the equipment to the new tenant though, how good it is I have no idea.

If you lease a shop in a shopping mall surely the cost of maintaining the public parts, lifts, loos etc is covered by the rent or maintenance charges and any improvement costs fall on the freeholder. If they are substandard this must effect the level of rent or premium that can be achieved. Perhaps the trustees are taking a bullish stance on how much they can soak the tenant for.

Anonymous said...

Why is this happening?

This is the second thread on this page about the Mowlem and nobody knows anything.

Although I do agree with Duncan.

Anonymous said...

7:34 PM "disinformation!"
Well, The Mowlem needs a lot of money spending on it and the cinema doesn't make £anything so I guess it must come from the new tennants? It would be a dissaster if someone just took over and carried on as it is. It would be like the local pub tannacies passing hands. Innovation noT UCI required.