Guide Dogs UK moves out of charity office-share


Guide Dogs UK has moved out of a London office-share with the Royal National Institute of Blind People after the RNIB ended the lease on its building.

Last month, Guide Dogs moved its London office from RNIB’s building on Judd Street to the British Medical Association’s premises in Tavistock Square.

A Guide Dogs spokesperson told Third Sector the charity’s initial lease would last for two years.

The charity began looking for new premises at the beginning of 2021, after RNIB accepted a “strong commercial offer” for the property.

The size of the offer remains undisclosed, but the property has been valued at £21.6m.

RNIB plans to move out in the next month, after more than 20 years in the building. According to the Charity Commission website, its new registered address is the Grimaldi Building on Pentonville Road at Kings Cross.

A Guide Dogs spokesperson told Third Sector that due to the close proximity of the two offices, its move costs were minimal.

Commenting on the new premises, the spokesperson said: “We have really specific criteria for our community sites as they have to accommodate our dogs in training to the highest welfare standards and need to be in a location where our local fostering volunteers can travel to on a daily basis.

“They also need to be fully accessible for our visually impaired colleagues and service users. We are fortunate to have found our new home within the BMA building, which has flexible space for our staff, service users and dogs and which will allow us to grow. 

“We now have space to accommodate 30 dogs during the day, up from 20 at our previous site. This is essential as we look to grow our guide dog service.”

An RNIB spokesperson said: “As part of our ongoing plans to transform RNIB to meet the 21st-century needs of blind and partially sighted people, we assessed our office space to ensure it best meets our needs and we are using our resources as effectively as possible.

“For some time, we have had more space in Judd Street than we require, so the decision was taken in 2021 to sell the building and relocate to new, more modern, fully accessible office space.

“RNIB is relocating to the Grimaldi Building on Pentonville Road.

“The building will be a fully accessible space meeting the needs of staff, volunteers, customers, partners and visitors alike. 

“The space has been developed with input from all areas of the charity, reflecting changes in working patterns and aiming to showcase the ‘design for everyone’ principles that any business can adopt to create accessible and inclusive workplaces that benefit everyone.”

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