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18 APRIL 2023
Grosvenor has created a new flexible workspace designed specifically for charities and social impact organisations in support of the Westminster Foundation’s mission to help vulnerable young people.
The building at 8 – 10 Grosvenor Gardens in the heart of Victoria and owned by Grosvenor’s UK property business will be known as Fivefields. Members will share a common interest in improving the lives of children and young people, mirroring the Westminster Foundation’s charitable activity.
The project has been initiated by the Duke of Westminster, who is Chair of both the Grosvenor Trustees and the Westminster Foundation. He saw the opportunity to bring together Grosvenor’s significant property expertise and resources with the Westminster Foundation’s philanthropic leadership. Grosvenor and the Westminster Foundation have also joined forces with flexible workspace specialists x+why (B Corp certified) to manage the building.
Fivefields is expected to be operational in Autumn 2023, bringing like-minded charities under one roof enabling them to collaborate, network and grow together. Two thirds of the building has been earmarked for charities and the other third will likely be occupied by funders, consultants and social enterprises. The resulting community provide a high-quality space for charities who might not otherwise be able afford a central London location.
The Westminster Foundation will offer grant funding to a selected group of these charities - who align with their strategic focus - to support membership costs, enabling them to be housed and supported in a community that will help amplify their important work.
The Duke of Westminster said: “So many incredible charities and social impact organisations are working flat out to support vulnerable children and young people. We want to support them by creating an inspiring workspace that will encourage collaboration and help generate new ways to tackle important issues together. I’m delighted we can combine Grosvenor’s property resources and expertise, the Westminster Foundation’s charitable relationships and x+why’s leadership in flexible workspace to create this new venue. I’m excited about its potential and can’t wait to see the Fivefields community and culture develop.”
The repurposing of 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens into Fivefields builds on Grosvenor’s recent track record of retrofitting existing buildings into vibrant new workspaces. These include the transformation of a 1980s office building into its first net zero office development at Holbein Gardens and its work to refurbish the Ice Factory in Belgravia, a building dating back to the 1830s that had been used as a coachworks, power station and motor repair centre over its 200 year history.
In reworking the c30,000 sq ft 8-10 Grade II listed Grosvenor Gardens into a sustainable and high-quality shared workspace, the building is being refurbished with accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability front of mind. In line with Grosvenor’s environmental commitments the building has been designed to minimise embodied carbon and includes features such as re-used steel, responsibly sourced timber, upcycled furniture and highly recycled aluminium.
James Raynor, Chief Executive Officer, Grosvenor Property UK said: “By coming together with the Westminster Foundation we have created one of the leading collaborative workplaces in London. Fivefields will offer best in class amenities for charities and social impact organisations in the heart of the Capital, creating the perfect conditions for collaboration, idea sharing and innovation.
“As a business, we have a strong track record of transforming buildings and places to respond to the needs of modern occupiers. At Fivefields we have pushed this one step further, creating an inclusive, accessible, purpose-built space. To be able to do this for organisations who work to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society is something we’re incredibly proud to have been a part of.”
The proximity to Westminster and Whitehall is expected to facilitate networking opportunities and access to policy decision-makers in government for Fivefields members. In addition, the Westminster Foundation and x+why will also curate a bespoke cultural programme of activities for members at Fivefields - from panel discussions and workshops to social and wellness activities. In addition,
Gordon Scorer, CEO of London Wildlife Trust, who have a flourishing youth programme to help young people get involved in nature said: “This new initiative will add significant value to our work. Being accommodated in a modern office with the ability to interlock, learn from and engage with our fellow charities will inevitably lead to greater impact in our respective missions to support young people and diverse communities across London. We’re grateful to the Westminster Foundation and Grosvenor for making it happen.”
Kate Brown, Director of the Westminster Foundation explains: “The last few years have brought significant challenges for the charity sector. However, the current state of disruption offers an opportunity for change, especially around working practices. We have listened to our charity partners and know that combining the resources of like-minded organisations delivers a greater impact than operating in silos.”
Rupert Dean, co-founder of x+why comments: “We are thrilled to partner with Grosvenor and the Westminster Foundation to design and operate this incredible building with such aspirational amenity. The combination of supporting Educational Charities through Grant Funding from the Westminster Foundation and supporting them in a dedicated space focused on modern day working alongside businesses is really exciting. We are looking forward to seeing the collaboration and even greater impact that can be achieved.”
The name ‘Fivefields’ was chosen as Belgravia - the site where 8 – 10 Grosvenor Gardens is located - was once known as Five fields. It also reflects growth and progression, which we hope the members that occupy the building will experience.
Designed by Barr Gazetas, Fivefields will include Mission Rooms, a 90-person capacity event space, bike parking, showers, a library, and a meeting room suite complete with 20-person board room, all including state of the art video conferencing technology.
The building is centred around a shared 2nd floor club space, the heart of the ‘Charity Hub’, which leads on to a south facing furnished terrace complete with planting and retractable awning. It is being refurbished with accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability front of mind. For example, there is a platform lift in the listed façade and an integrated ramp in reception. The colour palette has been developed with neurodiversity in mind and ensure Fivefields is a calm place to work.
The building is targeting BREEAM Excellent.
Visit the Fivefields website to find out more.
The Westminster Foundation
The Westminster Foundation is an independent grant making trust and registered charity, representing the charitable activity of The Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor businesses, that provides long term sustainable help and direction to vulnerable young people. Led by The Duke of Westminster, we are passionately committed to giving young people the attention, care and direction that we should all be able to take for granted. We believe that early positive intervention is critical to set the direction of a healthy, secure and fulfilling life.
The Foundation’s funding is focused on creating opportunities for young people (0-25) and their families to have the resilience, skills and capacity to lead happy and healthy lives. Through creating these opportunities, we aim to tackle the causes and impact of inter-generational inequality.
Grosvenor is an international organisation whose activities span urban property, food and agtech, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives.
We develop, manage and invest to improve property and places across many of the world’s leading cities. In the food & agtech sector our growing investment portfolio includes some of the industry’s most innovative businesses working towards a better food system. We manage rural estates and their environmentally sensitive habitats, while supporting charitable initiatives targeted at vulnerable young people.
We are a values-led organisation which represents the Grosvenor family and shares a common purpose - to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit - addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.
Senior Communications Manager