Statement from the Honorary Treasurer, Professor George
In recent years the College has grown at an
impressive rate. 10 years ago the annual turnover was about £8M, in
2009 it was £15M!
Partly this is because of growth in
membership numbers; now 15,000 in total. However membership
subscription accounts for less than one third of total income.
Other sources include the College Centre for Quality Improvement,
the College Education and Training Centre, Examinations,
Conferences, Grants etc.
The College has been careful with its
resources. For example central College support department numbers
(HR, Finance, Facilities) have hardly changed. Emphasis has been on
investing closer to members. There has been a massive investment in
supporting the Divisions right across the UK and abroad. Support to
Faculties has also increased.
We have also initiated some new central
College activities. These include the new Policy Unit,
Psychiatrists’ Support Service and the Service Users and Carers
Recovery fora. All these initiatives are consistent with the
College’s central strategic objectives of setting standards in
psychiatry and mental health, supporting psychiatrists and working
with service users and carers.
Looking ahead, our current lease at 17
Belgrave Square, which has very favourable terms, is going to
expire in 2034. Work on finding a replacement has started already.
This year the Trustees have also proposed that from every extra 5p
raised in membership, 2p should go to the New Building Fund. The
contribution from this will only be a small part of the total
amount that will be needed. Major specific fundraising from other
sources will be required.
There is no doubt however that the
College needs to face the new reality of austerity. Council has
asked the Chief Executive to work with the Officers to identify
potential savings of approximately 10%. We will maintain and seek
to enhance the successful downward pressure on travel and catering
activities that we have achieved over the last two years. We are
actively reviewing again the frequency and costs of meetings and
our reception and similar activities. We have decided to terminate
the lease we have on 15 Belgrave Square (next to 17 BS).
Compared to other organisations, the
forthcoming austerity may be an opportunity to increase College
influence through comparative strength; for example through a
strong Policy Unit, influential local links and effective working
with Service Users and Carers. With sound management, savings will
be possible without taking any unnecessary risks.
One of the biggest financial challenges
the College faces is raising the significant sum needed to secure
new premises beyond the expiry of the lease on 17 Belgrave Square
in 2034. In addition to the running and maintenance costs of £540k,
the ground rent payable on the current lease is only £500 per
The College hopes to raise the
necessary funds through fundraising and increasing surpluses. At
present the College has ring-fenced only £2.5 million for the
needed funds for the new building.