The Crown Estate approached the College in 2012 to propose the sale of the lease of 2 Carlton House Terrace, with the College receiving a share of the proceeds. The College had 56 years left to run on its lease and was paying £2000 a year in rent. The value of the current lease would have continued to depreciate and the College would have been left with no home and no capital at the end of the lease. The sale was agreed earlier this year and the College given 6 months to relocate. With the proceeds of the sale, the College hopes to buy a freehold property in central London, securing its location for the future.
The first move
The College will be moving out of 2 Carlton House Terrace on Friday 6 February 2015 and opening at 21 Prescot Street on Monday 9 February. Members should not notice any difference to the service provided by College staff. 21 Prescot Street is the home of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, who moved there from their former home in Belgrave Square in 2013. We will be renting the entire fourth floor of the building for the next two to three years, while we search for and renovate our permanent building.
21 Prescot Street
Prescot Street is located near Tower Hill, between Tower Hill and Aldgate East underground stations and less than 15 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street station. It was renovated in 2013 to meet the needs of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, who had outgrown their Grade 2 listed property near Victoria. If you’d like to see what 21 Prescot Street looked like during the renovations and to see the final building, there is a blog complete with videos (including one of singing psychiatrists) on the RCPsych website.
The fourth floor of 21 Prescot Street is currently surplus to the psychiatrists’ requirements and has been rented to us for up to three years. We hope we won’t be there that long, but it gives us breathing space while we look for our own building. The College staff will work in one large, open-plan office, in a layout similar to that shown in the videos on the RCPsych website. College staff will sit in their teams, but it is hoped that the open-plan layout will make communication between teams easier. A small number of offices and meeting rooms are being installed and will be available for staff and member meetings for up to ten people. Many larger meetings will be held in The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ meeting rooms elsewhere in the building and some may be held at another site.
Visiting the College
Members are always welcome to visit the College, wherever its headquarters are. Please drop in to 2 Carlton House Terrace at any time during the working week before the College moves. Once we move to Prescot Street, members will be welcome to visit the fourth floor. There will not be a dedicated members’ room but there will be refreshments, hot desks and free wifi available. We look forward to welcoming you to our temporary location over the next few months. For up-to-date information about the move and the search for a permanent building, please visit the College website.
Dr Suzy Lishman President