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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Introducing 21 Prescot Street

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Welcome to the 21 Prescot Street blog – a regular update on the building that will become the College’s new headquarters this autumn.


The College has resided at its current HQ, 17 Belgrave Square, since 1974 when the leasehold to the building was purchased for just £725,000. Over the years, the College has expanded its operations so much that we outgrew Belgrave Square – spilling out our exams operations into number 15, and leasing a building in Aldgate to house our Centre for Quality Improvement. With the lease on number 17 due to expire in 2034, last year saw the hunt for new premises begin – with the aim of finding a building large enough to bring all our staff together under one roof.


Prescot Street exterior


After visiting many buildings, College Officers finally alighted on 21 Prescot Street in E1 – a stone’s throw from the city of London.

Boasting an impressive 50,000 sq ft of space spread over six floors, the new building offers all the space we need to provide enhanced facilities for our members, trainees and visitors.


Until the end of 2012, the building was occupied by Santander, one of the world’s largest banks. Walking through the building today, it’s hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago the building was operating as a busy call centre, the floors abuzz with around 600 staff.


There is certainly a lot of work needed to turn this empty shell into a medical royal college fit for the future. That’s why the College is gearing up for an ambitious refurbishment programme, and we’ll use this blog to update you every step of the way.


Much still has to be decided – including the design and layout of a dedicated members’ area and information service on the ground floor. Do let us know if you have any thoughts about what you would like to see in this area – you can share your ideas using the comments form below. 

"A lot of work is needed to turn this empty shell into a medical royal college fit for the future."



21 Prescot Street - ground floor


The 21 Prescot Street site, and the local area, has a fascinating history. Check back soon for our next blog on the history of the road, steeped in tales of taverns and brothels – and a bit of medicine, too...

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About this blog

The Royal College of Psychiatrists purchased the freehold of 21 Prescot Street E1 in January 2013.

The College plans to move into the new building during the autumn. This blog charts the progress of the ambitious refurbishment programme, from design and planning right through to construction and the final move.