Disability charity sells headquarters for £2.5m

Deafblind UK says its old offices were too large and it plans to reinvest the funds in its services

Deafblind UK's former headquarters
Deafblind UK's former headquarters

The disability charity Deafblind UK has sold its former headquarters for £2.5m and plans to reinvest the resulting funds in its services. 

The offices in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, also acted as a conferencing centre that provided about £100,000 a year to the charity, but had been dormant during the pandemic. 

The building was sold last month to a company called RWM Investments. The charity's staff will move to a smaller complex it already owned in another part of the city that also offers supported accommodation. 

About 20 of the charity’s 100 staff members are central employees, with the remainder providing care and support to people with sight and hearing loss. 

Steve Conway, DeafBlind UK’s chief executive, said the charity made the decision to sell the property last year after it posted a loss of nearly £500,000 in 2018/19 and its reserves fell to less than three months’ worth of expenditure. 

He said the coronavirus pandemic had also shown the charity that it was possible for many of its central staff to work remotely, meaning it did not need the space the old office provided, and the new building would offer more of a hot-desking approach. 

Conway said the charity planned to reinvest the funds in providing more supported living opportunities for its service users, expanding its assisted technology and digital services, and providing more social groups and activities for service users as coronavirus restrictions are lifted. 

The estate agents Savills, which handled the sale, said the former HQ is expected to be converted into a medical centre. 

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