Property foundation to offer cheap management services

MATHEW LITTLE

A new charity is to be set up to provide management services to charities in shared office space.

The Ethical Property Foundation will offer services in areas such as fundraising support, financial management and auditing.

The beneficiaries will be tenants of the Ethical Property Company, which provides affordable office space to 65 charities and "social change" organisations across the country, including Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and the Scarman Trust. They are accommodated in seven centres in London, Bristol, Oxford, Leeds and Liverpool with a new centre about to open in Sheffield.

Managing director Jamie Hartzell said: "We have come to know our tenants well and we can see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. The foundation will enable us to give support to these groups without it having to be on a commercial basis."

The foundation, which will be a not-for-profit company applying for charitable status, will also spread best practice in property management and may have the power to buy property.

Three trustees have been appointed so far. They are working with charity lawyer Stephen Lloyd, of Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, to address governance issues and the relationship between the foundation and the Ethical Property Company.

The two organisations may sign a common covenant, outlining "ethical property principles".

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