We seek to connect and collaborate with local communities, throughout the lifecycle of our buildings and across our development and asset management activities.
We recognise that local initiatives play an important role in improving and promoting central London, and we are committed to being actively involved in enabling their success.
Unlocking potential with local communities
In its purest sense ‘community’ means people living and working in close proximity to our properties. Community backing is central to the success of a property both during development and also when operational.
We engage with our neighbours early in the development process and throughout construction, using public meetings, exhibitions and regular newsletters; hearing their thoughts; listening to their concerns and demonstrating our commitment to sensitive, sustainable development, before, during and after construction.
Andrew White Development Director
In order to create a sense of place around our properties, it is vital that we engage with local communities. By investing in local initiatives, not only do we support our neighbours but we help to make central London a better place to live and work for our occupiers.
For us, community is also about…
Helping people gain valuable experience
To encourage talented people to enter the property and construction industry, we engage with universities, colleges and schools to provide learning opportunities through on-site tours, presentations, work experience, mentoring and apprenticeships. We have successful collaborations with the University of Westminster, Reading University and Westminster Kingsway College. We also encourage our contractors to employ local people during our developments.
Investing in local initiatives
Between 2008 and 2016 we invested £17.8 million in community initiatives. This investment takes many forms, including:
- Contributions made directly to local borough councils
- Assisting with maintenance works at community centres
- Opening up vacant space for the arts and charities
- Providing affordable housing and work space as part of our developments
- Sponsoring local events, from local street festivals to West End Live.
Supporting the local community
More than 58 artworks from 14 countries around the world transformed London’s architecture and streets as part of Lumiere London. Great Portland Estates was proud to sponsor the event for a second year, helping to transform the city into a dazzling nocturnal art exhibition attracting over 1.5 million visitors.
The GPE Charity Bike Ride
60 riders from across the industry were thrilled to raise an impressive £82,000 for The Willow Foundation and The Evelina London Children’s Hospital at Guys and St Thomas Hospital NHS. In this challenging biking event – held for the second time – architects, lawyers, engineers and contractors came together to cycle 150 miles from Bournemouth to London in just over two days.
Bermondsey Street Festival
Known as the village festival and featuring three stages of live music, we support the Bermondsey Street Festival on an annual basis.
30 Broadwick Street Art
Through our 30 Broadwick Street project we co-hosted the ‘50 years of Soho’ art project with BAM and Westminster Kingsway College. The artworks were displayed on the gantry on the Broadwick Street elevation and on the hoarding on the Livonia Street elevation.
Centrepoint Sleep Out
In November 2016, continuing our commitment to supporting local charities, a team representing our Rathbone Square development from Great Portland Estates, Lendlease, Make and Dome participated in the Centrepoint sleep out raising £20,957.
West End Live
On an annual basis we support West End Live, a free event, where more than half a million people come together in central London to celebrate the very best of West End music and theatre.
Representing local business interests
We are members of local business improvement districts and community associations. This membership enables us to promote the interests of businesses in the communities where our buildings are located, working collaboratively with other property owners and local groups.
We are currently part of the Baker Street Partnership, Heart of London Business Alliance, New West End Company, Better Bankside, Jermyn Street Association and the Shoreditch Property Association.