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Our Aims

:: Stop any sale of a long leasehold interest of the Palace that's not for charitable purposes. The 1900 Alexandra Park and Palace Act provided that both Palace and park be held on trust "for the free use and recreation of the public for ever"

:: Safeguard the studios and the mast which pioneered the world's first high-definition television broadcasts and preserve the outline of the original studios A and B. Preserve and maintain the Palace's Victorian theatre and famous Willis organ. Protect public access to all of these and promote them as visitor attractions.

:: Reconstitute AP's trustees back to representatives of the whole of London and of the nation, capable of and interested in maintaining the Palace and Park for public use under its trusts (e.g. north London boroughs, The GLA, English Heritage, BBC, The Arts Council; individuals who have experience in community, heritage and educational areas.

The Palace is a unique national public asset and should be cherished as such.


In the News
Older News items
Letters to the press

Trastees must lift the lid on Ally Pally

Ham and High|29.11.07

Surely it's time for new approach to Ally Pally

Editorial comment|Ham and High|29.11.07

We're paying for problems at the Palace

Hornsey Journal | 28.11.07

THE trustees of Alexandra Palace and Park are still allowing the occupation of the palace by Firoka.

It would appear that Firoka have been handed the management and revenues of the Palace's trading activities and the trustees have confirmed that if this situation continues the loss to Haringey taxpayers will be approximately £1.75million per year.

This is made up of £750,000 cost of maintaining the park and £1million being the cost of maintaining the Palace.

Up to now, the Palace has generated sufficient revenue to pay for those costs. How can the trustees be carrying out their responsibilities if they have handed over the Palace to a private company to run and have not thought that it was necessary to charge them any rent or licence fee?

Firoka are making huge profits out of running a business where they are not paying any rent, maintenance or other costs.

This incompetence is the latest in a long line of mismanagement by the trustees. We once again call for their resignation and the appointment of new independent non-political trustees who will take personal responsibility.

Alexandra Palace Trading Limited has applied for a permanent betting licence for part of the palace.

This is to allow betting activities to be carried out at the Palace. So much for the protestations of the trustees that they have no intention of having any betting at the Palace!

Once again the public are being misled by statements by the trustees who are burying their heads in the sand while the chaos and discontent at the Palace increases on a daily basis. They refuse to explain what is going on and it is evident that they have no plan to deal with the current situation where Firoka are very unlikely to be granted permission to occupy.

Why should Firoka be profiting by more than £1million a year at the expense of Haringey? Wouldn't this money be better spent on social services and education? How can the public trust any of the statements made by the Palace Board?

Clive Carter, N4.

Ally Pally issues must be solved

Ham and High|15.11.07

Pally's fireworks the
worst ever

Hornsey Journal |14.11.07

THIS year's fireworks display at Alexandra Palace was the most soulless, badly organised and un-fun display I have been to in all my 32 years of attending the fireworks at Ally Pally.

Blocking off entrances, with no prior notice, forcing me (carrying a three-year-old, and my pregnant wife) to walk the long way round from Grand Avenue to the Springfield Avenue entrance (where my brother lives), only to be told that entrance was about to close. I could go on, but won't. I just won't go back there again.

- Name and address supplied, N10.

Palace needs big backer

Haringey Independent | 7.11.07

In the News | 2007 November - December
For older press cuttings please follow the links on the top right

As the rows continue, just who is running Ally Pally
Ham and High| 29.11.07

Extra £1m bill for Ally Pally

By Elizabeth Pears | This is local London | 29.11.07

Alexandra Palace is set to cost Haringey taxpayers at least £1 million more than expected after a takeover deal fell through.

The High Court ruling that prevented Firoz Kassam, owner of Firoka Ltd, from taking on a 125-year lease of Alexandra Palace, has left Haringey Council continuing to foot the bill for the running costs of the palace.

The council previously estimated the cost for 2007/8 would only stand at £385,000, with Firoka expected to take over the lease this year.

However, that figure has now risen by £1m as a result of the lease being quashed, and is likely to rise further if a lease is not signed.

Members of Haringey's opposition criticised Labour councillors for failing to adequately guard the public purse at a full council meeting on Monday, at the Civic Centre, in High Road, Wood Green - despite supporting the action brought against the Charities Commission by Save Ally Pally group.

Councillor Neil Williams, Liberal Democrat leader, said: "I raised this issue at a previous cabinet meeting a few weeks ago and was given a figure that has risen dramatically in a short space of time.

"What undertakings are there that this figure will not rise by £2m by the next time we meet?"

Though Alexandra Palace brings some money in from the ice rink, the pub and hosting live events, it does not generate enough revenue to cover the extensive running costs such as staff salaries, electricity bills and repair work.

The landmark building has been in deficit for the past ten years and is a huge financial burden to the council, which picks up the shortfall.

But Councillor George Meehan, leader of the council, said the overspend must be taken in context. "Last year we had to pay about £1.5m to balance the accounts of Alexandra Palace," he said.

"But we expected to sign a lease with Firoka so that amount was reduced to half a million.

"Obviously because of the court case that hasn't happened, so of course this means an extra cost. That will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Alexandra Palace board and we will report back to the council."

The High Court quashed the decision by the Charity Commission to grant the lease to Firoka after it was found that a proper public consultation had not taken place. A second consultation is planned for the new year.

Concern over £1million Ally Pally bill

Hornsey Journal | 28.11.07

CALLS have been made for Haringey Council to explain in detail how it ran up £1million of legal costs fighting the High Court action to prevent Alexandra Palace being leased to Firoz Kassam.

The council was involved as an "interested party" in the legal fight between the Charities Commission and the Save Ally Pally group, which successfully blocked plans to lease the Palace to Mr Kassam's company Firoka for 125 years due to the commission's flawed public consultation.

At last week's council cabinet meeting, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Neil Williams, said: "The amount of money signalled to have been additionally lost as a result of the court case is £1million."

Responding Councillor Charles Adje (Labour), cabinet member for resources, said: "In terms of making sure that we obtain proper legal advice, that's got to be funded."

He added that exact details of how the money was spent were not available but would be requested from the Palace trust.

"I wouldn't want to just roll out and give you a list of things at this meeting until I am clear myself what the money is being spent on," he said.

A second public consultation on plans to lease the building to Mr Kassam is likely to take place in the New Year.

Licence bid proves gamling in back on the Ally Pally agenda
By Clive Carter | Ham and High| 22.11.07

Million squandered in row over palace future
Ham and High| 22.11.07

Lease in limbo after Ally Pally court shock
By Mike Fletcher | Event magazine

The board of trustees of the Alexandra Park and Palace Charity Commission have voted to re-run the process that saw the building’s 125-year lease signed over to the Firoka Group.

The decision follows the board’s shock defeat in the High Court to Jacob O’Callaghan of the Save Ally Pally campaign, who had the lease blocked on 5 October due to a ‘fatally flawed’ public consultation.

The trusteeship has begged Firoka, headed by entrepreneur Firoz Kassam, to remain at the table and commit another six months to resubmitting its £55m redevelopment plans under the guidelines laid down by the courts.

In the interim, Alexandra Palace will continue to operate under licence with Shaun Ormrod acting as general manager and has even attracted a cosmetics trade show and a series of business seminars from the Business Design Centre and Excel London respectively.

O’Callaghan meanwhile is determined to continue his quest to force the ownership of the ailing north London venue to be handed over to a wider body made up of various councils, the GLA, English Heritage, BBC and the Arts Council. He believes Alexandra Palace’s existing exhibition business can fund public benefit activities.

O’Callaghan said: “It is clear the present trusteeship, an impoverished council, cannot continue. They simply have not got the resources or experience to get the best deal for Ally Pally and Londoners.”

Should the development process suffer any further disruption, it is widely believed that Firoka may grow impatient and decide to walk away, leaving the building to its continued demise. Ormrod said: “What O’Callaghan doesn’t realise is that the net achievement of the Save Ally Pally campaign to date is to ensure that the residents of Haringey borough continue to pay for the running costs of the building.” O’Callaghan refutes this and is calling into question the legitimacy of the interim arrangement.

Tycoon continues to coin in Ally Pally cash

Ham and High | 15.11.07

Betting plan for Ally Pally

Hornsey Journal |14.11.07

ALEXANDRA Palace could become a haven for gamblers - despite a casino being ruled out.

The Palace's trading arm, set up to manage events and bring in money to keep the Palace accounts afloat, has applied to Haringey Council for a betting licence for sporting events there, in time for the prestigious World Darts Championship, which begins on December 17.

This will allow punters to bet while at the event itself, in the Palace's Panorama Room.

A spokesman for the Palace trustees dismissed suggestions that the move was an attempt to resurrect a plan for a casino at the Palace - ruled out when the Government handed out all 17 initial casino licences to other towns and cities.

The application to the council says Alexandra Palace Trading Ltd is the only organisation applying for the licence, implying that firm Firoka would have to apply for a similar licence itself if it is successful in bidding for the Palace lease.

The closing date for public representations is December 10.


£55m Ally Pally revamp halted by High Court

leisureproperty.com | 5.11.07

The £55m redevelopment of Alexandra Palace in North London has been blocked by the High Court.


Justice Jeremy Sullivan ruled that there was “a fatal flaw” in the Charity Commission’s Order that authorised an extensive revamp – including the introduction of a 150-room hotel, bars, restaurants and public leisure facilities – which was to be carried out by former Oxford United chair Firoz Kassam’s Firoka Group.

The scheme faced a lot of opposition from the public – notably the Save Ally Pally group, whose lawyers contested that they had not been given any say on the plans to redevelop the 130-year-old building.

The trustees of Alexandra Palace, Haringey Council, have now unanimously agreed to reapply to the Charity Commission to seek an order to grant Kassam a new long-lease to allow him to carry out the work

Alexandra Palace lease negotions remain on 'knife edge'

Haringey Independent | 2.11.07





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