New Jersey finance centre 'will not waste taxpayers' money'

Protestors in St Helier
Image caption Banking group UBS has already signed a pre-let agreement for office space on the former Esplanade car park site

A new finance centre in Jersey will give the taxpayer value for money, the treasury minister has said, following a second protest against the plans.

Several hundred people attended the rally on Sunday, in St Helier.

Senator Alan Maclean said recent valuations showed the development would "make a profit".

However, campaigners said they may launch a legal challenge against the development by government-owned Jersey Development Company.

Protest organiser Sean Power said of the potential challenge: "There's been a suggestion that we make an appeal to her majesty and the Privy Council about the way the island is being run and how scarce resources, which is taxpayers' money, are being put into a speculative office development.

"Because I can't find another jurisdiction in the world that is building office blocks for wealth management industry and finance industry, and building flats for high-net worth individuals."

The development company intends to construct six buildings and a car park on the former Esplanade car park site.

Image caption Some protesters were demonstrating against a "lack of transparency" over the project
Image caption Protesters were from a variety of age groups

Senator Maclean said: "The pre-lets that need to be in place to ensure that each building, the cost of construction, is covered, have to be in place before starting."

He said that would mitigate the risk for taxpayers.

Sunday's march started at the Esplanade and finished at the Royal Square.

The first organised protest attracted thousands in June.

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