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31 OCTOBER 2023
Fivefields, developed by Grosvenor in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation and operated and managed by flexible workspace and amenity specialist x+why, has welcomed The London Wildlife Trust and Heritage of London Trust as part of the first group of charities to take up membership.
Located at 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens in Victoria, Fivefields is a c.30,000 sq. ft flexible workspace and co-working community, designed specifically for charities and social impact organisations.
Two thirds of the building is set aside for charities and social impact organisations, with the other third a mixture of private offices and enterprise suites for the open market, prioritising those whose work is complementary to that of the charity members.
To date, a number of charities have signed up including Action Tutoring, Peer Power and Doorstep Library with more charities set to sign up in the coming weeks and months.
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.
The Westminster Foundation will offer grant funding of up to 50% to support membership costs for the charities, enabling them to be housed and supported in a likeminded community that will help amplify their work. All charity members will share a common interest in improving the lives of children and young people, mirroring the Westminster Foundation’s mission.
Behind the original Victorian Grade II listed façade, Fivefields has been developed into a modern, purposefully designed workspace. In line with Grosvenor’s carbon reduction commitments, the 30,000 sq. ft building is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating.
As with Grosvenor’s Holbein Gardens redevelopment, the re-use of materials has been prioritised, with recycled steel and highly recycled aluminium in the lightwell windows. The building also makes use of Grosvenor timber, manufactured at Grosvenor TimberWorks, a producer of sustainably grown British timber at its facility in Cheshire.
Delivering a fully fitted out workspace has enabled Grosvenor alongside x+why to take their experience re-using building materials and apply it to the entire building specification. Fivefields features upcycled raised access flooring, pre-loved furniture and outdoor furniture made from recycled ocean plastic and recovered fishing nets.
Working with architects Barr Gazetas, Grosvenor, and x+why have ensured that inclusivity has been central to Fivefields’ design. To support members and visitors navigate the building independently and have a sense of safety, security and comfort, a platform lift has been installed in the listed façade to allow independent access. Additionally, the floor heights have been adjusted to enable level access, with ramps also ensuring access to different sections of the building, including the communal terrace.
These inclusive design principles extend through the building, with the selected paint palette using fewer patterns and calming colours with neurodiversity in mind. The art collection was carefully curated and consulted on with a neuro divergent young person to ensure its suitability.
Adding to this, just as in all their spaces, B corp certified x+why will curate a cultural and wellbeing programme of events including yoga, mindfulness activities, talks, panel discussions, workshops and social networking to develop a collaborative and inviting community.
Lucy Puddle, Development Director, Grosvenor Property UK said:
“Creating a flexible space for charities and social impact organisations is a first for Grosvenor. At every stage of the project, from design to construction and fit out, we have sought to deliver a place that feels like a real community, with sustainability, inclusivity, and wellbeing at its heart.”
“Our partnership with the Westminster Foundation and x+why has been key to getting us to this point, with each party bringing their own skills, expertise and insight. Seeing x+why welcome our first members and the space being actively used and enjoyed is a moment of pride for everyone involved in the project.”
Rupert Dean, CEO of x+why said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Grosvenor and the Westminster Foundation in creating this new hub for charities in the heart of London. With the first cohort of charities set to become the founding members of this space, I look forward to seeing the growing community of a highly-impact driven group of organisations develop and grow. I’m certain this innovative and sustainable workspace will provide the perfect environment for the charities to thrive”.
David Mooney, CEO of London Wildlife Trust, who have a flourishing youth programme to help young people get involved in nature said: “Fivefields 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.”
Notes to Editors
The full list of organisations signed up to date at Fivefields includes:
Grosvenor is an international organisation whose activities span urban property, food and agtech, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives. We are a values-led business which represents the Grosvenor family and share a common purpose - to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit - addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.
With a track record of over 340 years, we work to improve urban property and places in many of the world’s leading cities, promoting sustainability within the built environment and enhancing the wellbeing of customers and communities.
Our UK property business supports c1,000 businesses and tens of thousands of residents and workers across London’s West End each day. We also invest in, create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in Liverpool and across England. As a 1.5oC aligned company, pioneering change and new ways of thinking about property we aim to ensure our places benefit both people and the planet over the long term.