Coram looks for charity partners

Children's charity wants help to build childcare research and service centre

Children's charity Coram is looking for voluntary sector partners to help it build a £17.5m childcare research and service provision centre.

The charity has obtained planning permission to transform its 3.5 acre Bloomsbury campus into a 'hub' for childcare services, which will include office and auditorium space and facilities for training courses.

It is in talks with a number of not-for-profit organisations about them becoming lead partners in the development, which is expected to be completed by 2014.

The lead partners, which the charity said could be from the voluntary, public or private sectors, would contribute towards the development costs in return for cut-price rents on the new campus.

Andrew Moffatt, head of fundraising and communications at the charity, said it was attempting to raise the £17.5m needed for the redevelopment through trusts and major donors.

He said that once the new site had been completed, Coram would rent office space to charities offering childcare services, with which it would pool back-office functions such as finance, IT and human resources in an effort to reduce costs.

"The site has been underused for some time, and the redevelopment will help to secure Coram's long-term future by providing rental income," said Moffatt. "This is a good time to start work on the redevelopment because a lot of charities cutting costs in the recession will see sharing back-office functions as a sensible way of doing it and will stick with the model in the long term."

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