Answers to frequently asked questions about the estates programme.
Some details of the programme are still developing and this section will be updated as the project progresses.
If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please let the project team know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new building in London Bridge
When will we be moving?
We expect to begin the process of transitioning staff to the new building in November 2019 with this likely completing in December 2019.
Why this building?
This building meets the brief set for the College’s new home exceptionally well. It has the required space and condition for the College to operate in. It requires relatively few internal modifications for the core business, whilst having hugely exciting potential for improvement through the creation of an atrium in the courtyard. The location is both highly accessible, nationally and internationally, and London Bridge is an exciting and fast developing area.
Many alternative buildings were explored by the College, but 10-18 Union Street was by far the best fit for our needs and aspirations.
Have we bought a freehold/is there planning permission?
Yes, the freehold has been purchased and planning permission has been granted for the College’s plans to develop Union Street.
What do you mean by shared enthusiasm for College of women’s health?
Extra space in the building presents a number of promising potential avenues for the college to explore and pursue. This may involve organisations joining the College. By working together, we will be in a stronger position to improve women’s health.
Can we hold admission ceremonies/dinners?
It is planned that the events space at Union Street will be able to deliver all the existing College events, courses, ceremonies and dinners. The Move Project Group is currently working with the architects to design the events/meeting spaces to allow as much flexibility as possible for specific meeting requirements.
Can we host exams in the new building?
Yes. We will anticipate continuing to hold exams at the RCOG’s new home on Union Street.
Will we have residential accommodation?
No, the space will not be used for residential accommodation as this will not be considered a valuable use of additional space. Alternative options are being explored and staff will be updated as we know more.
How will Union Street be accessible for users with a disability?
Union Street has been designed with specific regard to people with disability and the requirements of all users, notably those with mobility impairments, blind and partially sighted people, those who are deaf, the elderly and users of the building accompanied by small children.
Due to the works being performed on the existing buildings at Union Street, for the purpose of regulation it is treated as a new build, this means that the design is compliant with various building regulations for disabled users, and greatly improves on the level of accessibility that the College has at Sussex Place. By adopting an approach of design inclusivity, the finished building will go beyond the minimum requirements set out in building regulations to ensure that the building is as accessible as possible to all users regardless of ability, age or gender.
There will be 9 disabled WCs at Union Street, with a disabled WC situated on each floor for ease of access. Stairs and lifts are being upgraded as part of the works, with a new lift in the south building suitable for blind users. Hearing loops will be fitted in the meeting rooms located in the south building and large meeting hall, and infra-red hearing aids will be available.
The experience for users who are neuro-divergent is also being taken into account, with an intention to make the building easy to use through colour schemes that help orientate the user, and diagrammatic signage to help people navigate their way around the building. LED lighting is proposed in meeting rooms and office areas, making them more comfortable environments for those who find fluorescent lighting uncomfortable.
Will there be a café?
Yes. The new Union Street building will have a café. Additionally we are working closely with our partners Graysons, who will move with us, to create an attractive café space that appeals to staff, building visitors, as well as the community of Southwark.
How will the RCOG ensure the new building is environmentally friendly?
Please see the Estates Environment and sustainability page.
When will we be moving and how much notice will staff get?
Staff teams are expected to begin moving over to Union Street from November 2019. Further details will be made available closer to the time.
Will the FSRH be moving with us?
We are expecting the FSRH to join us in our new building and they are involved in the planning.
Will we still host some specialist society secretariats?
Our current relationship with specialists will remain unchanged. We employ staff to directly deliver this work and there is no plan to change how this work is managed.
Will we still be able to host joint meetings with specialist societies?
Our aspiration is to host the vast majority – if not all – of our current events programme in the new building, and to continue to host other events in other locations. The same is true for our joint meetings with specialist societies.
What happens if we can’t move into a new building by December 2019?
A Business Continuity work stream has been set up as part of the internal move project and is headed by the Executive Director, Resources. This group is currently working with all departments to develop contingency planning for the unlikely event that the College is unable to occupy our new home on Union Street by December 2019.