Stories | The Crown Estate

Stories

We take a fresh look at thoughts, ideas and innovations that affect our business.

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Paul Clark: What happened to boom and bust?

A decade on from the financial crash and eight years into a fresh cycle, we unsurprisingly now face softening occupier markets and at best, static capital values. But a more substantial downturn, now arguably overdue, is yet to materialise.

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Food for good

We’re partnering with restaurants and The Sustainable Restaurant Association to put sustainability on the menu. Together, we can influence change and create a better food future.

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A recipe for a better food future

To coincide with WWF’s Earth Hour in March 2018, we partnered with a dozen restaurants across Regent Street and St James’s Market on the ‘One Planet Plate’ campaign, a worldwide movement which demonstrates how food can help us live better on planet earth.

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Happy Birthday to Rushden Lakes

This past Saturday, 28th July, marked the one year anniversary since Rushden Lakes welcomed its very first visitors. Since then, this unique shopping and leisure destination in the heart of Northamptonshire has welcomed over 4.5 million people.

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Pioneering the UK offshore mussel industry

In recent years there has been significant interest in the development of offshore shellfish facilities, whereby mussels are cultivated on rope lines suspended from floating frames sited out at sea. We caught up with John Holmyard at Offshore Shellfish Ltd, who is pioneering developments in Lyme Bay.

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Designing for the future: retail destinations 2030 and beyond

In March this year, we joined forces with the Architects' Journal to launch a new and exciting architectural competition, asking what retail destinations might look like in 2030 and beyond. From a broad range of entries, capturing everything from sustainable design, to diversification of use and innovative tech, we shortlisted 12 practices who presented their ideas to an expert judging panel. The six finalists then joined us to take part in a creative charrette session, exploring how their ideas might be brought to life as part of our portfolio. Jo Francis, Head of Retail Operations for our Regional portfolio, reflects on the competition and how forward-looking designs can shape the retail future.

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Understanding seabird behaviour around offshore wind farms

ORJIP (Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme) Offshore Wind is a UK-wide collaborative programme of environmental research with the aim of reducing consenting risks for offshore wind projects.

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Electricity interconnectors

Despite everything you read, it may surprise you to know that Great Britain is becoming increasingly connected to Europe – or should that be interconnected?  

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A celebration of arts high above the streets of West End on the 250th year of the Royal Academy of Arts

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts, over 200 flags designed by four internationally renowned artists are decorating the streets of West End including Regent Street and St James’s.

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Wild West End is a natural success

Through our Wild West End partnership, we’re creating a green corridor linking Regent’s Park and St James’s Park. This is encouraging birds, bees and bats back into this iconic area of London and creating opportunities for people to experience nature during their daily lives, an important factor proven to benefit wellbeing.

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Rooftop oasis for honey bees at Princesshay

High above Princesshay, Exeter, our peaceful rooftop garden is home to around 100,000 honey bees. Positive for biodiversity and popular with local people, our busy bees also provided the inspiration for a beautiful artwork, ‘Princesshay Honey Flow’. 

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A journey of learning and discovery at Windsor Great Park

Our exciting five-year partnership project with Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust is off to a flying start. Local people of all ages are welcoming the chance to get up close and personal with the natural world at our new environmental centre.

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Paul Clark: Brexit not the only factor facing real estate

We settle into 2018 reflecting on a mixed picture for the UK economy. While it’s true we haven’t seen anything like the economic horror show that many had forecast would follow a leave vote, UK growth is down, with many businesses continuing to hold off on investment and consumers beginning to cut spending.

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How collaboration is creating value on the seabed

Today, the UK offshore wind sector meets around 6% of our annual electricity demand and is on track to hit 10% by 2020. As a nation, we’re leading the field in this area, with around the same number of offshore wind turbines in UK waters as across the rest of Europe combined. Yet less than twenty years ago, this market was in its infancy, and as manager of the UK seabed, The Crown Estate worked to understand how to unlock commercial value for the business offshore. 

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Berkley Futures on how future markets and options can help farmers manage risk

With all businesses, including farming, facing greater uncertainty and tougher market conditions we recently asked Berkeley Futures to provide more information about how farmers can use financial and commodity markets to their advantage.

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Hannah Milne talks to Property Week

Hannah Milne talks to Property Week about Regional Retail and how Rushden Lakes could provide the blueprint for the retail destination of the future.

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Huub den Rooijen: Offshore wind in a balanced energy mix

With the government re-examining the case for a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, it’s a good time to reflect on recent breakthroughs in another low carbon technology, offshore wind.

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Paul Clark: Thriving through a period of lower returns

Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer at The Crown Estate, on the strength and consistency of UK real estate against the backdrop of an economy in special measures.

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Hannah Milne: The quest for experience

Hannah Milne, Director of Regional Retail at The Crown Estate, argues that experience-led shopping is going to transform our traditional idea of retail parks, but it must continue to be rooted in convenience.

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Claudine Blamey on setting new standards in sustainability

Claudine Blamey, head of Sustainability and Stewardship at The Crown Estate, argues why sustainability should not be treated as an add-on or after thought but instead should be truly integrated within the commercial strategy of a business. 

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What’s the point of growth?

Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer at The Crown Estate, argues that assessing the strength of the economy on GDP alone is too narrow an approach and often doesn't reveal its true health. And in a more uncertain volatile world, businesses need to think more effectively about how they communicate the broader value they contribute to society. 

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Alison Nimmo: Why the office environment is key to productivity

Alison Nimmo, Chief Executive Officer at The Crown Estate, reflects on the findings from The Stoddart Review and highlights the importance of the workplace as a key performance lever.

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James Cooksey: We need to think more like hoteliers

James Cooksey, Director of Central London at The Crown Estate, reflects on the Future Office competition; a partnership between The Crown Estate and The Architects' Journal that invited architects to pitch their ideas on how inspiring and effective workplaces would operate from 2020 onwards.

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Paul Clark: Risks ahead, but London still draws global capital

Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer at The Crown Estate, explains that with fewer destinations for global capital, London's outlook remains strong.

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Ken Jones: Applying long-term thinking to improve soil quality

Ken Jones, Director of Rural and Coastal at The Crown Estate, addresses the issue of soil degradation and why applying sustainable soil management practices is a no-brainer.

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Judith Everett: Thinking big in a time of uncertainty

Judith Everett, Chief Operating Officer of real estate business The Crown Estate, reflects that in a time of uncertainty business has a strong story to tell in driving forward the sustainability agenda

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Staying ahead of market conditions is vital

We take a look at the major trends influencing our occupational and investment markets. These can be highly diverse, ranging from the transformative effect of technology on retailing to the impact that milk prices have on our tenant farmers.

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Paul Clark: Uncertainty is the new norm

By the time you read this, we will know who the new London Mayor is, but not the outcome of the EU referendum. These milestones, along with local elections across the country, have dominated headlines for the last few months and kept the property sector on its toes as it considers the potential business impacts. And there is much at stake.

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James Cooksey: How to keep London great

James Cooksey, Director of Central London for The Crown Estate, one of the largest real estate businesses in London’s West End, argues that London needs to be radical in the face of a globally competitive world.

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Looking forwards, going backwards: class in the property sector

Paul Clark, Chief Investment Officer at The Crown Estate, argues that we neglect social class diversity in the property sector at our peril.

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Princesshay Leisure proposals would bring substantial benefits to Exeter and the local community

From talking to local people over the last year, I know there is a strong desire to see Exeter’s bus station regenerated.

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Paul Clark: Time for shrewd investors to exercise caution

Sometimes we forget, but all markets are cyclical and commercial real estate is no exception. Particularly in London, but increasingly around the UK as a whole, the capital markets have enjoyed a sustained period of rising values.

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Renewable energy must do more to demonstrate its wider contribution

Adrian Fox, Portfolio Manager for Offshore Wind, asks whether renewable energy must do more to demonstrate its wider contribution to society. 

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Promotion of cohesive communities will remain important to London’s future competitiveness as a world city

London is one of the most successful cities in the world and consistently the first port of call for global investors.

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How offshore wind is one of the UK’s best infrastructure stories of the last decade

This year it has felt like energy – and especially its cost – has rarely been out of the headlines, fuelled by a General Election and change of Government, fluctuations in oil prices, and the need to set out a vision for a secure, affordable and low carbon energy mix for the UK.

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James Cooksey: Why investing in green infrastructure should be a key consideration for forward thinking property businesses

Our experiences in London’s West End have proven that creating destinations that stand the test of time is about more than just great buildings.

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Ken Jones: FBT flexibility to ensure sustainable agricultural business growth

Following the Tenants Farmers Association (TFA)  call for a minimum ten-year Farm Business Tenancy (FBT) term, Ken Jones, Director of our Rural and Coastal portfolio, argues for flexibility.

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David Tudor: Unlocking the UKs tidal range opportunity

As an island, the UK is fortunate to have substantial natural resources to support offshore renewable energy – from wind through to wave and tidal sources - offering us a significant opportunity to help reduce our carbon emissions and contribute towards energy security.

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Improving energy efficiency of retail sector is a commercial necessity

The UK government aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, and it is clear that the retail sector has a strong contribution to make.

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Huub den Rooijen: A landmark year for the UK offshore wind industry

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate which manages the UK seabed, assesses the case for offshore wind in turbulent times and calls for greater transparency in debating our energy future.

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Paul Clark: Retail park sector could soon open its door to overseas investors

The UK is one of the world’s most popular destinations for overseas blue-chip property investors, a position underpinned by its stable political environment, high levels of transparency and corporate governance, and the number of deep and liquid markets that are available to those with capital to deploy.

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John Grinnell: Committed to investing in Princesshay for the long-term

Retail is an extremely fast paced industry and it’s changed markedly in recent years.

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Paul Clark: Success for retail parks depends onapproach

Investors with exposure to out of town retail know its potential to deliver strong returns.

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Paul Clark: Meeting the UK’s housing challenge

One of the most challenging issues facing the UK today is how to deliver substantial numbers of new homes.

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