Boss goes later this month after four years on scheme

The firm behind the Battersea power station redevelopment has confirmed that its chief operating officer is leaving at the end of the month – with his destination set to be the entertainment group behind the Sphere music venue which was yesterday recommended for planning.

Ian Feast has been COO at the Battersea Power Station Development Company for the past two years having spent four years at the business.

He was previously the head of phase 3 of the project, which is being built by Sir Robert McAlpine and centres on new residential buildings drawn up by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry. He was later promoted to a newly created role of head of delivery before becoming COO.

battersea 2

Source: Shutterstock

Work is continuing to turn Battersea power station into a housing-led, mixed-use scheme 

Feast started his career as a project manager at Cyril Sweett before leaving for roles at developer Hammerson and Sir Robert McAlpine, where he was retail director for three years. He joined Battersea in 2017 after more than eight years in the Middle East for developer Majid Al Futtaim.

He is being replaced by Scott Grant, who was in charge of the first phase of the project, and was then promoted to his current role of head of phase 3.

Grant’s CV includes spells at Laing, back in the 1990s, and Mace along with two years at EC Harris where he was a partner and head of service before joining Battersea in 2012.

In a statement, the developer said: “Ian Feast will be leaving at the end of March after four years with the business, with the last two years having been as COO. We thank Ian for his hard work and contribution during that time. We are delighted to confirm that Scott Grant is being promoted into the role of chief operating officer.” It added that Grant will also continue to oversee work on phase 3 which is due to complete “imminently”.

Feast is understood to be heading to Madison Square Garden Company, the US entertainment giant behind the Sphere music venue.

It is understood he will be reporting into Paul Westbury, the executive vice president for development and construction at MSG. The US firm has been contacted for comment.

Westbury joined MSG from Laing O’Rourke nearly three years ago where he was group technical director. Before that he spent more than 14 years at Buro Happold, ending up as chief executive.


The MSG Sphere in Stratford is due before planners next week

McAlpine’s director of strategy Grant Findlay is also understood to be joining MSG as well. Findlay joined McAlpine in 2011 from Carillion where he was operations director.

Confirming his departure, McAlpine said: “Grant has been a hugely valued member of the team for the past 10 years and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. We look forward to how our paths will cross in the future.”

Findlay added: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work at a business so deeply embedded in the fabric of UK construction. I look forward to watching the business continue to flourish and to remaining connected to the Sir Robert McAlpine team and partners.”

McAlpine bid the deal to build the Sphere but lost out to McLaren three years ago. But it is understood MSG has had a rethink and will now let the job as a construction management job if the scheme gets the green light next week.

Feast and Findlay will link up at MSG with another former McAlpine staffer, Mike O’Donnell, who was a project commercial director at the contractor. He left nearly three years ago to join the firm where he is a senior vice president responsible for commercial management.

The Sphere has been designed by O2 architect Populous and will be wrapped in triangular LED panels which will show a range of static and moving images including digital art, promotional material for the venue itself – which will have a capacity between 17,500 and 21,500 – as well as adverts.

But it has proved hugely controversial with the scheme receiving 1,364 responses at the planning stage – 852 of them opposed to it. Among those lined up against it is the owner of the nearby O2, Anschutz Entertainment Group, which has called the proposal “seriously inadequate and flawed”.

A decision on planning is due next Tuesday.