Ben Aspinall led a team of property development consultants to advise Doncaster MBC in respect of this significant redevelopment project. This was an ambitious long-term project to develop significant racing, leisure, conference and tourist facilities, which was an essential component in Doncaster’s regeneration strategy. Working alongside financial advisers RSM Robson Rhodes and lawyers Irwin Mitchell, a preferred developer was selected via a European Union procurement process and a Joint Venture company was established to carry out the development.
Ben Aspinall was involved in all aspects of the tender process through to the detailed negotiations with the preferred developer – Arena Leisure PLC. The procurement process was established to ensure that the following key objectives were achieved:
- completion of the redevelopment;
- creation of world class/international racing facilities;
- maintenance of Group One racecourse status;
- increased quality and attraction of all races;
- an enhanced profile of Doncaster within the national and international market place via the St Leger Brand; and
- enhancement of the St Leger Race and Lincoln Handicap and a minimum of 28 race days at Doncaster.
The Council was assisted to arrive at a number of firm positions with regard to the bids upon which it would not enter into discussions i.e. “stakes in the ground”. Evaluation was based on the extent to which bidders demonstrated assurance of the following three key themes: innovation, optimisation and partnership.