Exploring New Beginnings
Like many organisations, GCVS now works very differently from how we operated only a few years ago. Post-Covid, this means we have different property needs as a result.
The GCVS Board have taken the difficult decision to look at the sale of the Albany building that so many of you will recognise as our primary business place for the last fifteen years. Over the last few months, we have consulted with staff and taken advice about the building. After consideration, we have concluded that the Albany is no longer the right home for us.
Our Home Then and Next
There are a few key factors for us in this. Like many other organisations, staff have appreciated working from home introduced during the pandemic. The nature of our work means that home-working is welcomed by most of our team, so our need for space is less than before. Instead of 60 people in the office, we need space for less than 20 at a time. We have also introduced a reduced working week and greater autonomy over our time, which has a knock-on effect on using the office.
When staff are in the office, they tell us they want spaces for small teams of about six people to collaborate. The Albany’s layout is mostly larger spaces which makes that difficult. We have tried to make some adaptations but haven’t been able to make them work in the way we hoped.
Alongside this, before Covid, we used about half the space in the building for conferences and events. Since returning to the office, demand for event space has reduced significantly. This includes our own use of event space, with more training and events held online or in local areas across the city.
The Albany is a beautiful, listed building. While it may be possible to redesign the layout to meet our needs, we worry that doing so would risk losing some of the character of the building. By selling the building now, we believe we can best secure its long-term future so that it is still around in another 125 years. At the same time, it offers GCVS the opportunity to find a new space that better matches our new ways of working and also allows us to focus more of our resources on providing services and support.
It will be some time before we sell the building as we need to understand what we need for the future and find the right space for us moving forward. However, we want to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org if:
- You’re a community and third sector organisation interested in buying the Albany, keeping it in community ownership.
- You have suitable space for GCVS or other organisations to relocate to? Even if it isn’t ideal for us, we would like to have a list of organisations with space to help the sector get better use out of buildings.
- You, too, are reconsidering your premises and interested in joining GCVS and some of the organisations that live with us in the Albany, in our new location.
We look forward to hearing your ideas and appreciate your valuable feedback.
Find more information about the Albany here