Innovation Centre Opening Delayed By Internet Connection

porthmellon innovation centre Aug 2015The Porthmellon Innovation Centre should finally open soon.

In yesterday’s Council meeting, members heard that contractor Bo Green finished the £1.5m project to transform the 1966-built wholesalers site back in July.

But there’s been a delay in opening the workspaces because of a broadband issue.

It’s not the problem that blighted the Authority’s former premises on the industrial estate last year.

In April 2014, Council Chairman Amanda Martin said that low flying Skybus planes were disrupting Wi-Fi and computers at the old Home Hardware Unit.

This time Senior Officer Diana Mompoloki, says BT is to blame for the delay.

She told councillors that it had taken 16 weeks to get the centre connected and that the Council couldn’t legally move in without internet because their fire alarm system requires Wi-Fi.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said that the wait means that Scilly has “superfast broadband but superslow connections.”

BT has confirmed that the lines to the centre are working and they apologise for any delay but their spokesman Jason Mann added that a substantial amount of engineering work was required, including the installation of about 80 metres of underground cabling.

The Innovation Centre project has recently been described as “pointless” and “a white elephant” by locals on social media. Some islanders have said they’d rather it remained a retail site, which could be used by a supermarket.

In her report table yesterday, Mrs Mompoloki wrote that “there is a risk that the community will already have a negative perception of the centre” but she hopes that a public viewing event will mitigate that.

Diana also cautioned that there is a potential risk to the Council if the occupancy levels are low, meaning insufficient income to cover costs, but she adds that she is “confident that this will not be the case.”

One tenant has signed up already.



14 Responses to Innovation Centre Opening Delayed By Internet Connection

  1. Confused October 22, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    So the low flying planes don’t affect the internet 10 yards up the road then?

  2. Mark Prebble October 22, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Would this be the place that had all the outside lights blazing away last night at just before 7. There was nobody obvious inside, despite some of the windows being open, unless they were using candles to light their activity.

  3. Jenny October 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    If you look at the planning applications to the Isles of Scilly Council, four premises previously used for small businesses have asked permission to change their use from a small business to residential. The 4 have cited the building of units at Porth mellon, Porth cressa and the quay has contributing to their inability to rent business space. No one did any market research about whether there was demand for these new business units. The one now used by the health watch dog was provided at a ridiculously low rent to the previous occupant. The health people receive their funding through the Isles of Scilly Council. In a roundabout way the Council are paying for their own units. The negativity can only be expected when situations like this develop.

    • Geoff Seasick October 22, 2015 at 12:12 am

      It would be a good idea if a certain officer was sent on a long sabbatical.
      Far from helping our economy with her mystic Meg approach to economic diversity she is locking in real damage leaving a trail of botched projects and overspends that will influence our future for a long time to come.
      We need leadership from our Chairman but she has long been a busted flush.

  4. Pat Hayden October 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    If it has taken from July until now for one tenant to come forward, it does not fill one with much hope that others will soon follow. Where will the money come from to subsidise any potential shortfall?

    • Miriam Dermot October 21, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Your pocket and mine! Where will it all end?

  5. Michele Govier October 21, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    All ready one tenant signed up – brilliant! I bet by this time next year, unless the rent is reduced by 50%, there will still be one tenant or probably none.

    Once again another reason to disband this council.

    • Soutie October 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Oh Relax! – the internet will be connected in a few weeks and the #innovation will start as planned.

      It’s not like the olden days:

      #Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owns no #Vehicles.
      #Facebook the world’s most popular media creates no #Content.
      #Alibaba, the most valuable retailer has no #Inventory.
      #Airbnb the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no # Real_Estate.
      #Apple does not own a # factory.
      #Whatsapp with 3 Billion messages a day does not own #servers.

      The next big thing is the #IslesofScillyTechDream with no #techopreneurs, no #reliabletransport, no #housing, no #Sponsor, and no #LocalBuyIn?

  6. mike October 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    The space taken up by this White Elephant would have been much more beneficial to us if it had leased to a certain mainland supermarket that wanted it. Why do we need a communial kitchen,conference centre and nodoubt more empty work spaces on the so called Business Park, at the end of the day its still our old Industrial Site and does not need a posh name to try and get people to use it. At the end of the day it will just provide another location for the Council Staff to move into when nobody wants to rent space there because of the cost.

  7. Ian T. October 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    When I left school I worked for’Post Office Telephones’ which was part of the Civil Service and provided an exceptional service to customers. Sadly, under public ownership this has gone from bad to worse. Installing 80 metres of cable a problem? What a joke!

    A friend has just moved within Paignton just a short distance to a new house on a new development. There was no phone or broadband when he moved in and three weeks later he is still without a service! Pathetic! It seems that BT supposes that everyone has a mobile – so that’s all right then.

    When did last hear of BT completing anything on time and, more to the point, it worked properly?

    • Uriah Heep October 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      BT installed broadband for me on the day they said they would and at the time they said they would, even rang ahead when they were ten minutes from arrival.
      I am not sure the Civil Service were ever that civil.
      Still at least you haven’t been left out.

      • Ian T. October 22, 2015 at 11:18 am

        Left out of what? I have no dealings whatsoever with BT after the experiences I have suffered over the past ten years. These included my business line not being transferred just 200 yards on the date requested. When the same line was faulty I was told that the fault lay with me which it plainly didn’t and that engineer would call in five days time and, speaking to someone on the phone who clearly had little knowledge of telecommunications. No, they weren’t in India (no slur aganst Indians intended). None of my friends has had a good experience. Need I digress further?

  8. Morris October 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I notice the senior officer is carefully preparing the ground for poor performance!
    However I think she may be a little behind the times when suggesting that there is only a risk that we ‘might’ have a negative perception of the centre

  9. Pete October 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Fire. Low flying planes. Help.