An investigation into the Peel Group, parent company of Clydeport, which owns Ardrossan Harbour, has revealed the organisation pays minimal rates of corporation tax.
In the last financial year, the Peel Group
declared profits of more than £628m but paid no tax on the sum.
Subsidiary company Peel Ports Investment Ltd paid no tax on profits of
£104m, while Peel Holdings (Ports) Ltd racked-up profits of £34m and
paid no tax.
In a complicated web of intermediate and parent
companies, all of the businesses operated by the Peel Group ultimately
trace back to Tokenhouse Ltd, which has reported assets totalling £18bn
and has its registered office ‘offshore’ on the Isle of Man. Like many
other large companies, such as Starbucks and Google, the Peel Group
avoids tax liabilities in the UK through a process known as ‘base
erosion and profit shifting’, which attributes profits to ‘offshore’
parent companies despite the trade that generated the profits having
been carried out in the UK.
the3towns has previously reported
the impact of Clydeport’s neglect at Ardrossan Harbour, which is still
most prominently visible in a serious breach to the port’s breakwater.
The above photo was taken in September 2011 but the breach remains
In July 2011 the3towns also revealed Clydeport had
‘dumped’ stones from the curved facade of Ardrossan’s historic Customs
House, which had stood for 150 years at the entrance to the harbour
area. In 2010, when permission was granted for the harbour’s owners to
demolish the Customs House as part of a major regeneration project,
North Ayrshire Council’s Planning Committee imposed a condition that the
facade must be retained and incorporated into a proposed new
development of office and residential space. The stonework was to have
been numbered and stored safely until work on the proposed development
However, the3towns story of July 2011 showed Clydeport
had left the stones lying exposed to the elements on the quayside at
the harbour. Identifying numbers were no longer present, making it
unlikely the historic part of the Grade ‘B’ listed Customs House could
be incorporated into the proposed new-build structure.
our story, Clydeport moved the stones to what was described as a secure
compound at the harbour, but in September of last year the3towns
revealed the area was not secure and that some of the historic stonework
was actually being used to prop open the gate of the compound.
the3towns can also reveal that while the SNP Scottish Government is
investing around £18m in new berthing and harbour infrastructure in
Brodick, no funding is earmarked for the mainland port of the Arran
ferry route, apparently because Ardrossan Harbour is in the private
ownership of Clydeport.
Strong cross-winds in winter, coupled
with a sharp-turn on entering the harbour mouth can make berthing
difficult at Ardrossan, a situation that has led islanders to question
the logic of investing so heavily in the publicly-owned infrastructure
on Arran, while Clydeport apparently has no plans to upgrade facilities