Age UK Moves to New Central London Hub

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50 Digital Champions gathered at Age UK’s new central London hub yesterday as they prepared to travel to the National Digital Conference 2011.

The move to Tavis House also potentially frees up over £3m of capital by selling one of the old offices in Norbury to be used to support Age UK’s work

Age UK, the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, has begun the exciting move to its new London hub for older people. Created to be a hub for staff, partners and people in later life, this consolidation of five pre-merger Age UK London properties into one building comes a year after the launch of the new Charity that aims to improve later life.

The organisation’s dedicated London-based staff, as well as international, national and regional partners will come together in Tavis House, Tavistock Square, Euston, over the next few months. The new hub will provide improved facilities, reduce time spent travelling between sites, build on the Age UK ‘one group’ ethos and save over £1million a year on rent and operating costs.

Already the new Age UK hub is being opened up to people in later life and volunteers – yesterday (Wednesday 11 May) 50 Digital Champions of all ages met at Tavis House as they prepared to travel to Race Online’s ND11 conference. The Digital Champions recruited by Age UK all use the Internet regularly and pass on their knowledge of the Internet and of other digital technologies to people in later life. They are part of Race Online 2012’s mission to get as many people as possible to be online by the London 2012 Olympics.

The move will revitalise part of Tavistock Square and the currently empty former Department of Work and Pensions building. Leased at a much lower cost per square foot then the current King’s Cross building, the lease for which has now run out, the move represents good value for money. It represents a reduction in total office space in the Capital for Age UK’s London operations since a number of staff and roles were moved to Ashburton and Warrington during the merger, while much of Tavis House has also been commercially sublet.

By taking over a redundant lease on a non-refurbished building, Age UK has been able to rent Tavis House at a very low cost and only basic key maintenance work has been done so it can be re-occupied. This includes updating windows, cabling and ventilation to high environmental standards and turning the derelict ground floor into a highly accessible centre for Age UK, its partners and older people. The rest of the interior remains largely unchanged other than a fresh coat of paint. These costs have been fully met by a long period of free rental negotiated in taking over the redundant lease.

Age UK Camden will provide a range of services for older people from Tavis House, including IT Training and Information and Advice, while a co-operative of Age UK London partners will also provide FSA-regulated financial services to older people. Other agencies focusing on older people have also taken space at Tavis House such as Help Age International and PRIME (the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise), along with Age UK subsidiaries such as Age UK Enterprises. Meeting facilities will also be commercially let on the ground floor. An innovative new catering concept will also involve volunteers and provide home cooked food to staff and visitors.
Tom Wright, Age UK’s Chief Executive, said: “A lot of hard work and careful consideration has gone into securing the right property as a new hub for Age UK and as a hub for services to older people. We have created an open and inclusive environment that will work for both our staff and older people, while at the same time contributing a further £1m of savings to the ongoing £10m plus per annum savings and efficiencies that Age UK has made post-merger. These are very exciting times for the Charity and provides further support to the people we serve.

“It was great to see so many Digital Champions at the new hub yesterday. Digital Inclusion is just one of the key areas that Age UK is working on at the moment as part of our mission to improve later life for all.”

Barbara Hughes, Chair of Age UK Camden, said: “We are delighted to be able to share offices with Age UK and run some frontline services from Tavis House. It’s in a good location, is affordable and also an improvement on our current headquarters. We are looking forward to working closely with the national and international charity.”

The move to Tavis House also potentially frees up over £3m of capital by selling one of the old offices in Norbury to be used to support Age UK’s work. It also brings together for the first time all the London-based merged parts of Age UK, and several of its partners, under one roof which will enhance the culture and efficiency of the new organisation. A Staff Property Group has been fully consulted on the move throughout the process to minimise disruption for our highly valued staff.

For more information and photos, please call Sarah Milsom in the Age UK Media Team on 020 8765 7251 or email sarah.milsom@ageuk.org.uk.

Notes to editors

Farebrother Chartered Surveyors advised Age UK through this process.

Age UK
For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group (“we”). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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