Local media (Kent Online, Kent Live & Kent News) are today reporting that the owners of the Discovery Park site in Sandwich have “sold” their shareholding in the Park, in order to concentrate on their plans for Manston Airport.
Kent Online states:
“Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave are selling their shareholding in Discovery Park in Sandwich to investment company Discovery Park Estates Limited.”
Documents filed with Companies House yesterday state that Simcha Asher and Bernard Spitz have been made directors of Discovery Park Limited (DPL). They are both directors of Discovery Park Estates Limited. It is assumed that additional documents will be filed removing the responsibilities of Messrs Cartner and Musgrave as directors of DPL.
It is important to note that Messrs Cartner and Musgrave still hold some control of the site through their shareholding in Parkserve Ltd, the company which “manages the site on a day-to-day basis”.
Discovery Park has been widely criticised by campaigners for failing to stimulate new business at the site, rather to entice relocations of existing companies. Whilst the owners claim 2,500 people are employed at the site, some 700 of these work for Pfizer, who were original owners of the site until 2012.
It has also come under fire for offering accomodation to Instro Precision, a company which campaigners from East Kent CAAT (Campaign Against the Arms Trade) claim is owned by Elbit Systems, whose products were used to kill people in Gaza in 2014. Instro Precision were initially meant to be located at Manston Airport by the Discovery Park owners, stating that there was no other space suitable for them.
This latest action by Messrs Cartner and Musgrave could be seen to be deflecting future problems that Discovery Park may face, as they would hold fewer responsibilities in law as shareholders than they would as directors.
Update: 22 Nov 2016
Documents filed with Companies House on 16 November confirm that Chris Musgrave, Trevor Cartner and Ray Palmer have been de-registered as directors of Discovery Park Litd.