Charities learn new ways to bring property projects to life

Charities are increasingly having to look for new ways of securing funding, making the most of their property assets and considering acquiring property for the first time in order to secure their future and continue to provide valuable services.

A decrease in government spending and increase in demand for public services is also adding pressure on charities. This has led to a rise in demand for forums which help charities understand the opportunities and potential pitfalls surrounding property-related projects.

At a seminar and group discussion at Thrings’ offices in Bristol last week, representatives from around 20 invited charities were given the opportunity to consider the benefits of property ownership, gain some helpful tips on funding, understand the importance of having appropriate buildings insurance, and receive practical advice on planning construction projects and securing the best deal in any sale or acquisition.

Property management issues, the challenges of planning an exit from leasehold property, and tax obligations also came under the spotlight at the event which was hosted by Ben Tarrant and Warren Reid, commercial property partners at Thrings, Paul Williams, head of agency at Bruton Knowles, Chris Mapp, ‎relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, and James Woollam, managing director at Hayes Parsons.

Ben - who acts on transactional matters for national retailers and healthcare operators and professionals on property acquisitions and disposals, and property litigation expert Warren – who is also head of commercial property at Thrings – outlined some of the challenges charitable organisations face on the acquisition of and exit from a leasehold property.

The seminar also featured inspiring presentations by two guest speakers - Sandy Hore-Ruthven, CEO of Creative Youth Network based at The Station in Bristol, and Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust which runs Colston Hall - who shared their recent experiences of securing investment and developing their own property.

Full seminar programme:

  • Paul Williams and James Leeks (Bruton Knowles): Building surveying and valuation - 5 key things to consider
  • James Woollam (Hayes Parsons): Top 5 insurance considerations when acquiring a property
  • Sandy Hore-Ruthven (Creative Youth Network)
  • Ben Tarrant and Warren Reid (Thrings): A review of the challenges faced on the acquisition of and exit from a leasehold property
  • Chris Mapp (Unity Trust Bank): How to get your lending application approved
  • Louise Mitchell (Bristol Music Trust)


Dorothy House Hospice Care, St John's Foundation, HorseWorld Trust, Chippenham Borough Lands Charity and Bath Cats & Dogs Home were among the charitable organisations at the seminar.

Joining Ben and Warren from Thrings was commercial property partner Ben Jones, tax planning specialist Michael Westbrook and agricultural property expert Becky Smyth.

For more information about the seminar, and/or to request a copy of Ben and Warren’s presentation, please contact Katie O’Donnell ( / 0117 374 9636).

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