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The deal includes an option for the College to lease the building for up to two years to give it time to consider its options for the future, and how they may have changed as a result of the pandemic.
The decision to sell the property was made back in November 2018, when Council decided that the building was rapidly becoming unfit for purpose and the College needed more up-to-date and modern facilities with more room for a growing workforce. The College’s Estates Strategy Project Board was tasked with managing the process, chaired by former RCVS President Barry Johnson.
RCVS Treasurer Susan Dawson said: “Council recognised that this deal realised maximum value for the building, especially considering the impact the pandemic has had on property prices in Central London.
“It also provides a very valuable opportunity to reflect on the changing needs of the organisation and the professions and public it serves, and to consider the requirements and different working patterns of the College staff going forwards.
“It is likely that many staff members will wish to continue to work at home more than they did pre-Covid, so the need for pure desk-space may not be as great as we had planned for the 10-15 years ahead. However, the importance of in-person meetings for collaboration, creativity and the maintenance of good corporate culture is not to be underestimated, so our new requirements are likely to be different to that anticipated back in 2018.”
The College says it expects to welcome limited numbers of staff back to the office in June, to work in a socially distanced way, including virtual or partly-virtual meetings.
Changes to working patterns over the coming months will also help inform decisions around future remote working policies and the type and size of building that will best suit the future needs of the College and its workforce.
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