The Shaw Trust, one of the country’s largest charities, has reversed its plans to relocate from Bristol to a new headquarters in south London.
Chris Luck, the charity’s chief executive, had previously announced plans to move the centre of its operations from Bristol to Bromley, as part of a strategic review of Shaw Trust’s performance and management.
However, the latest filings with Companies’ House, published last week, list the charity’s headquarters at an address just outside Birmingham.
The charity confirmed that relocation plans changed after it decided to sell a number of its assets, including the property in Bromley. That building had been acquired in 2017, when Shaw Trust purchased the employment and skills company Prospects Services.
The strategic review, introduced shortly after Luck became chief executive in February 2018, also resulted in around a hundred Shaw Trust staff losing their jobs last year, as the charity tried to restructure its work and reduce its wage bill by around £5m.
The Shaw Trust has grown in size rapidly in recent years. Its spending jumped from £93m to £258m in eighteen months during 2017 and 2018.
The charity’s biggest funder is the Department of Work and Pensions, and it delivers government contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds as part of its work to help people into employment.
A spokesperson for the charity told Civil Society News: “Shaw Trust's planned move of the head office function from Bristol to Bromley was to take advantage of an existing Shaw Trust freehold building.
“However, following an in-depth review by group chief executive, Chris Luck, a decision to sell a number of property assets was made. This included the Bromley freehold, which forced a re-think of the head office location.
“Shaw Trust Group has been fortunate to have had an administrative office in the Black Country for more than 20 years. As a consequence of our continuing consolidation to meet changing beneficiary needs and now Covid-19, the capacity of Black Country House is sufficient to deliver our head office function.
“This allows us to maximise value to commissioners and beneficiaries and also contribute to the government’s regional levelling-up agenda, which we fully support.”