Monday, 23 July 2012

Selling the Family Silver - part 2

My earlier post about the potential sale of the RPS building at Lambeth appears to have ruffled a few feathers but all I will say is that my account was factually accurate and the only people who objected were those who were not privy to the conversations I had.

But, it is only fair to add to my earlier comments following a briefing I had earlier today. As I said in my earlier blog post no decision has yet been made although the matter is up for discussion at this week's Assembly meeting. 

The situation is quite straightforward. The GPhC agreed to share the building for two years and have extended the contract to 2014 (although there will be changes with respect to the parts of the building they occupy). 

The RPS is a much leaner organisation than the old RPSGB and cannot afford to be the sole occupants of the building. The options would appear to be to try and market the space for functions, to find alternative tenants or to sell and look for more appropriate accommodation. 

I must stress that no decision has yet been made but I did notice when I came into London on the train that there is a lot of empty office space in the area so it is difficult to see how realistic it will be to find suitable tenants for the building. 

But, at the end of the day, how many pharmacists actually feel any sort of bond with the Lambeth HQ? One of the best kept secrets is that all members can use the rooftop restaurant but few members avail themselves of this facility. 

So, if the RPS can find more appropriate London based accommodation (and preferably buy it) and we can ensure that we retain the museum collection would anybody actually care? 

The old RPSGB moved from Bloomsbury in the 1970s (I think - although it may have been early 1980s) and the world didn't end. 

What's in a building? I used to do a lot of work with the NCT and they moved from pukka Bloomsbury premises to Acton and the organisation has gone from strength to strength. The ABPI has recently moved to smaller offices and at the same time has a newly invigorated profile. 

It will, however, be interesting to see what the assembly decide.........


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