Finance and Economics president Senator Terry Le Sueur admitted in the States this morning that there was still no funding, no deal and no commencement date for the tourism industry’s number one project.Senator Ted Vibert pressed the Senator to set a deadline on the developers to come up with the funds or put the project out to tender.
Senator Le Sueur refused to do so.’The board of WEB considers that it currently remains in the interests of its shareholders not to abandon its partner at this time on what is an extremely difficult project,’ said Senator Le Sueur.
‘At this stage, while discussions remain ongoing, neither the board of WEB nor the Policy and Resources Committee have considered issuing a deadline.’The major problem, according to the man leading the development bid, is finding the funding.
Ted Clucas, of the Jersey waterfront Hotel Development Company, said: ‘The major stumbling block is getting a commitment of £50 million to put into Jersey’s tourism industry when nobody else is investing in it.’The developers are still working with the huge Marriot chain in trying to finalise the deal.
They were close three years ago but the banks withdrew their support following the terrorist events of September 11 and the impact on global confidence.Late last year WEB were beginning to speak more optimistically about the project and were hopeful that work would start this year.
Mr Clucas remains optimistic that that can be achieved.’I think we will get there – I haven’t worked for six years to give up now,’ he said.
‘I think it will be done and we don’t want to go into 2005.
I would say that it is more likely than not.’