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Trident Centre, Dudley

Sarah Norman, chief executive of Dudley Council, said:

“Senior officers did meet Mr Sykes and Mr Strong in November last year for a general discussion on the refurbishment and possible redevelopment of the Trident Centre, which Mr Strong later confirmed in writing had been ‘helpful’. Earlier this month, Mr Strong again confirmed their commitment to looking into redevelopment proposals, although no plans have so far been brought to the table.

“On February 23, the council took court action against Atlantis Holdings for business rate avoidance. Atlantis Holdings were seeking to avoid payment of business rates on a building owned by them, by representing to the council that a tenant company was in occupation. That tenant company was allegedly breeding snails in the building. This was not accepted by the council and in a court case against Atlantis before Dudley Magistrates in February 2017, a liability order was granted in the council’s favour.

 “Since then we have expressed our willingness to work with Atlantis and its regeneration proposals. However Dudley Council has a duty to collect business rates from local businesses.  The vast majority of businesses pay the rates that are due and for those who experience difficulties in paying, we encourage them to contact us as soon as possible so that assistance can be provided and, where required, a repayment plan arranged.   Our aim is to treat all businesses equally.

"No officer has ever refused to meet Mr Sykes or Mr Strong. We have made it extremely clear to them that should they wish to take the investment forward, we remain ready to meet at any time and we would welcome such a development.” 

For info - Atlantis Holdings own the Trident Centre. Mr Sykes is the company chairman and Mr Strong the CEO