KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA COLLEGE APOLOGISES FOR SALE OF WORNINGTON ROAD SITE
• Sale of College’s Wornington Road site in 2016 ‘plainly wrong’ and not in the interests of its local community
• Sale process characterised by management failings and poor governance
• Negotiations with Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea underway to determine how the Wornington Road site should serve its local community into the long term
• College sets out ‘complete break with the past’ and ‘relentless focus’ on serving the needs of its communities, students and staff in Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington and Chelsea College today publishes an independent review by the investigative consultancy Kroll into the July 2016 sale of the College’s Wornington Road site to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).
The report catalogues a failure of management and governance in several areas including:
– lack of consultation with the local community in the period before the sale;
– failure to consider and evaluate alternatives to a sale to RBKC (for example, potential proposals from private developers);
– shortcomings in determining the final sale price of the Wornington Road site; and
– ‘excluding’ of College student and staff governors before the final decision to sell the College to RBKC.
Kensington and Chelsea College Interim Chair Ian Valvona said:
“The sale of the College’s Wornington Road site to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was plainly the wrong thing to do – even when you consider the College’s very difficult financial situation in 2016.
Today the College apologises for that sale and I want to recognise the role of the local community and the Save Wornington College Campaign for helping to ensure that the full details of this sale finally saw the light of day.
The College’s core mission is to focus relentlessly on outstanding teaching and learning for our students and meet the needs of our local communities.
Selling the Wornington Road site to RBKC in 2016 was not in the interests of that mission or the College’s local community but the College is now determined to look forward and work with the community, staff and Borough to build a bright future together.”
For immediate release
Kensington and Chelsea College Chief Executive and Principal Andy Cole said:
“The report highlights shameful behaviours of past management in excluding staff, students and the local community from its discussions and decision making over the sale. There has been a complete break with the past across the last year at Executive Leadership as well as Board level and we are in negotiations with RBKC to determine how the Wornington Road site will serve the needs of its communities into the long term.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank staff for their continued professionalism in focusing on raising standards in the college – standards that now firmly position the college as one of the highest performing in the capital.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Kensington and Chelsea College (“KCC”), a further and higher-education college located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London, is split into two centres: the Kensington Centre, located at Wornington Road, London, and the Chelsea Centre, located at Hortensia Road, London.
2. On 19 July 2016 KCC sold the Wornington Road building and land freehold to RBKC on a sale and three-year leaseback agreement. Under this sale and leaseback agreement, RBKC agreed that KCC could lease the Wornington Road site from the Council for three years following the sale at an annual rent of GBP 1,100,000. The headline value of the transaction was GBP 28,650,000, from which GBP 3,300,000 was deducted to take account of the three-year lease agreement. The net cash sale value to KCC was therefore GBP 25,350,000.
3. Ian Valvona has been interim Chair of KCC since 9 July 2018. Andy Cole has been Chief Executive and Principal since 24 February 2018. Biographies of all of KCC’s governors can be found here – 9 new since October 2017 and 1 re-elected October 2018.
4. KCC engaged Kroll in May 2018 to undertake an independent review in order to provide a clear and accurate account of the sale and leaseback of the Wornington Road building. Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, is a leading global provider of risk solutions. For more than 45 years, Kroll has helped clients make independent risk management decisions about people, assets, operations and security through a wide range of investigations, cyber security, due diligence and compliance, physical and operational security, and data and information management services. For more information, visit www.kroll.com.
5. Media Enquiries can be directed to the Kensington and Chelsea marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7573 1321.
Date published: 17 October 2018