A: When it’s ‘Bristol Alliance‘…
Yesterday I spotted a little story on the Bristol pages of BBC News about improvements to the pedestrianised bits of Broadmead. The usual puff story, really. But one bit caught my eye – the bit calling Bristol Alliance
a local partnership set up to revive the city centre.
Of course, ‘Bristol Alliance’ is nothing of the sort. It’s just the flag of convenience under which the London-based real estate behemoths Hammerson Plc and Land Securities Group Plc operate under in their Broadmead expansion project. Pretending to be part of a local initiative working to a local consensus was, of course, one of the big bugbears when this whole Cabot Circus (né Merchant’s Quarter) shebang kicked off. Even mild-mannered community body St. Paul’s Unlimited had a few choice words to use about Hammerson/LSG’s failure to engage with local concerns.
It’s not the first time huge, out-of-town landgrabbers have tried to cloak their operations beneath disingenuous labels; the big Bull Ring development was carried out by ‘Birmingham Alliance‘, a non-Midlands consortium led by, erm… Hammerson Plc and Land Securities Group Plc!
So fired up with righteous anger and with green ink filling my veins, I knocked out a swift rebuttal and asked the Beeb to correct their story.
And blow me if they haven’t gone and done it… The contentious bit now reads:
The scheme is funded by the Bristol Alliance, a development partnership working on the city centre’s revival.
Hmmm… An improvement, no doubt; but do you think we ought to pick holes in the “revival” claim?