Property advisers and client of HAN Communications, Vail Williams, has advised the nation’s leading first aid charity, St. John Ambulance, on the rationalisation of its national property portfolio.


Now in its 140th year of campaigning to raise awareness of first aid through educating the public, St. John Ambulance has been through a period of strategic review in 2017.

As part of this, the charity has sought to reduce its property portfolio to reinvest in frontline services, whilst upgrading and replacing a number of existing properties.

A team of experts from across Vail Williams’ business space and occupier advisory teams in Birmingham and Reading was appointed to advise on the implementation of the charity’s national property plan, through the acquisition, disposal and refurbishment of a number of properties across the UK.

Working together with the charity’s national property manager, Andrew Stormont, Vail Williams undertook a strategic review of the charity’s property disposal and valuation options for a number of properties, including its operations at Claremont Street in Edmonton and Mildenhall Road in Clapton, near Hackney.

The properties were brought to market for sale by informal tender, generating sales in excess of the initial asking prices of £350,000 and £1,000,000 respectively.

The team also advised on the acquisition of two additional properties – a 6,361 sq. ft. office in Leicester which was secured on a 10 year lease, six months rent free; and an industrial unit extending to 16,032 sq. ft. in Birmingham, which were also secured on a 10 year lease, with a five year break clause.

Both acquisitions have helped to consolidate the charity’s operations in these two locations, bringing them together into one larger, more modern facility.

Geoff Fallon, partner at Vail Williams and relationship manager for St. John Ambulance, said: “It was a pleasure to advise St. John Ambulance on the rationalisation of its property portfolio which will help them to continue to deliver vital educational services from high quality premises throughout the country. We enjoyed working with the team and their legal advisers, Blake Morgan and Greenwoods Solicitors LLP to bring these deals to fruition.”

Andrew Stormont, National Property Manager at St John Ambulance added, “We’d like to thank the team at Vail Williams for their expert property advice which helped us not only to secure the sale and acquisition of a number of our properties, but also to ensure that we complied with the complex regulations set out in the Charities Act.”

“We hope that through the implementation of our property strategy we can create multi-use buildings that serve many purposes, whilst ensuring that each of our properties are physically well positioned for the future.”

As a result of their work, Vail Williams has been instructed to advise on the sale of a further two former training venues.

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