Academy of Medical Sciences, 41 Portland Place, London



A three and a half year assignment for one of the four National Academies of the UK. The Academy of Medical Sciences had outgrown their existing premises and needed new long-term, prestigious headquarters for their 25 academic staff and 900 Fellows. I led an in-house project team and acted as the Academy’s Client Representative, reporting to a Property Steering Group chaired by the Academy’s President.

Shortly after my appointment an opportunity arose to acquire long leases on peppercorn rentals for three adjoining properties in Portland Place by way of a merger with another charity. The buildings were in substantial need of repair having been occupied since the Second World War with little recent investment.

Key elements of the work:
  • The acquisition of the property leases by way of a charity merger and transfer of assets – due diligence, interim management, staff redundancies, managing the formal closure of one of the charities and the sale of surplus property and antiques
  • Project managing a fully fund-raised £5m refurbishment – preparation of the client brief, feasibility studies, project costings, assisting with funding bids, refurbishment and fit out
  • The conception and implementation of income-generating activities within the new building – marketing and subletting surplus office space, setting up a conference and catering business
  • Setting up building management systems and support services contracts, recruitment of the facilities, conference and catering teams
  • Relocation of the Academy staff to their new headquarters.