RICS rejects Coventry and will move 250 jobs to Birmingham
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has confirmed its intention to quit Coventry and relocate around 250 staff to new offices in Birmingham city centre.
There had been speculation the organisation was on the verge of quitting Coventry after a deal to move into new offices in the £100m Friargate development fell through.
In a brief statement today, RICS said it would be moving to new Grade A premises in Birmingham and the move would be completed by the end of the year.
It has not confirmed where the new offices are but it is understood to be looking at three sites in the city centre.
The options are currently being assessed but an announcement on the preferred option is not expected until after the general election.
Options might include 55 Colmore Row – the new base for law firm Pinsent Masons, The Colmore Building or possibly the newly-refurbished 10 Temple Street. Longer term options such as Arena Central or Three Snowhill are thought to be unlikely given the timeframes.
Sean Tompkins, CEO of RICS, said: “Since April 2014, one of RICS’ organisational priorities has been the relocation of our Coventry operations to a more suitable workspace for a growing global 21st century professional body.
“We have since explored a variety of options including moving to alternative premises in Coventry, relocation to Birmingham, and the refurbishment of existing premises.
“Having carefully assessed each viable option, we can today announce that we will be moving our entire Coventry based operations to new Grade A premises in Birmingham City Centre. We intend to complete our move by the end of 2017.”
He added that while disappointed the proposal to move into a new development in Coventry had failed to materialise in the timescales originally envisaged, the organisation was more than satisfied with the alternative.
“Our new premises will fit our organisational needs and vision for the future,” he said.
The original plan would have seen Coventry City Council share the Friargate tower, close to the city’s railway station, with RICS.
However, the deal could not be completed in time.
The move is likely to be seen as a snub for Coventry and its regeneration plans, and now with the loss of RICS confirmed, the council is likely to revert back to its original plan for the 11-storey Friargate and use it as the local authority’s main office.