Flying Vegetables | Derwent Strategy | Glastonbury Gloom

After another dramatic week of European football, any sports fan logging in to catch up on all the week’s action would assume the headlines would be filled with Messi’s silky dismantling of a stoic Spurs side at Wembley. Not so. Media attention has been firmly turned towards the Championship and Villa Park. And not for their 3-3 capitulation against a dead-bottom Preston North End side, but instead for a disgruntled fan deciding that the only way to show his disapproval of Steve Bruce’s management was to throw a piece of veg, specifically a cabbage, at the head of the Aston Villa manager. However, said fan had been so affected by Villa’s current poor run of form that the shot emulated their recent showings and flew high and wide of its designated target. The suspect still ‘romaines’ on the run, but what The Weekly can’t work out is what the fan was planning to do if they’d won? Would he have brought it home for the fridge? Or used it to top his post-match kebab? That much will remain a mystery, but the incident itself appears to have had the desired effect. Bruce was shown the door on Wednesday afternoon after only one win in his last ten games in charge.

The Weekly attended an EPRA investor event this week to hear from (amongst others) Derwent London’s CEO John Burns on the company’s strategy and development ambitions. Mr Burns (not to be mistaken for his Simpsons namesake and the evil owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant, Montgomery Burns!) set out a clear vision for the London-focused office REIT. He sees Derwent as an “investment company with a development arm”, but it is also a company which knows its market and has a proven track record of getting development right, especially in locations that might previously have been considered to be on the fringes. This focuses on up-and-coming areas (note here that 70% of Derwent’s London-based portfolio is located in the vicinity of Crossrail stations) and is backed up by some innovative office design. And it is a formula that has been successful. By way of an example, Derwent were able to persuade US entertainment giant, Sony Pictures, to move from its Soho Square headquarters to Derwent’s Brunel building over in Paddington.  And when the design features draw in the occupiers, the end results for investors can be compelling. Take the example of the 240,000 sq ft White Collar Factory on Old Street roundabout, the first building to secure a Wired Certified Platinum rating and the first in London to have a running track on the roof. Occupiers love it and the development has generated an impressive 96% capital return. That may be difficult to top, but whilst the London occupier market remains strong, Derwent will be looking to capitalise.

If no outdoor shower facilities and compost toilets, with a healthy side of live music, is your idea of a fun weekend, then you have probably been sat anxiously at your computer this morning as general admission tickets for Glastonbury went on sale. At 9:30am (only 30 minutes and multiple server crashes after they were made available!) it is expected all 175,000 tickets will have been sold with well over half of the applicants being left empty handed. And the acts haven’t even been announced yet!. However, the self-proclaimed ‘largest greenfield festival in the world’ doesn’t do anything by halves, with roughly 30 megawatts of electricity used over the weekend, clocking in at around the same usage as the entire city of Bath! It is estimated that over 400,000 pints of beer will be poured over the weekend and alongside this circa 2,485 miles of toilet roll will be on site for the opening day, the same distance as London to Baghdad! If you were one of the many unlucky applicants this morning and are thinking of actually breaking into the festival, be aware that standing in your way will be a £1 million, 12 ft tall ‘super fence’ supposedly impossible to scale, break through or burrow under. Still don’t be too disheartened, there are still tickets available to witness the World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship over the same weekend!