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Burlington House

Support the Geological Society’s fight to stay at Burlington House

After over 145 years at New Burlington House, we face being priced out of our home because of unaffordable and rapidly rising rents. Reaching a sustainable, long-term solution with our landlord, the Government, will secure our role as the internationally-recognised home of Earth science.

Burlington House helps us to physically bring together different interests, and to speak with a single voice on behalf of the Earth sciences in the UK. It is our scientific conference venue, where we promote education and awareness, translate Earth science research into policy, reach out to the public, and uphold professional standards and excellence in Earth science.

Following a change in Government policy in 2014, Burlington House began to be treated as an investment property. Prices in the West End soared and, as a result, we have seen our rent increase in excess of 3,000% since 2012. As a charity, we cannot afford to pay such escalating rents. As such, we have launched a public campaign in a final attempt to find an affordable solution.

In collaboration with the other learned societies at Burlington House, we have engaged with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for many years. However, an affordable, long-term agreement remains out of reach.

Such an agreement would help us to continue to:

· Maintain the UK’s leading position in Earth science on the world-stage.

· Bring together leading scientists, industry and policy-makers to ensure Earth science works for the public good.

· Contribute to scientific output and professional standards in the field.

· Inform and educate the public on the vital role of Earth science in addressing societal challenges.

Our case for staying at Burlington House

The UK is a world-leader in the Earth sciences, and Burlington House is an internationally renowned scientific landmark, developed by the government in the nineteenth century as a meeting place for the arts and sciences. It brings the Geological Society together with the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Linnean Society of London at one single location, and is as relevant today as ever. As intended by the Government’s vision, the co-location of these unique organisations has allowed them to thrive and make significant contributions to the economy and public life over the past 145 years.

In our current situation at Burlington House, we face either unaffordable rent rises at the hands of the Government landlord, or a move which could cost millions of pounds. This is creating significant uncertainty at a time when we should be investing more strongly in science, education, policy and outreach work to the benefit of society.

What will happen with no agreement?

Unless affordable and sustainable terms can be reached with the landlord in the very near future, we will have no alternative but to relocate from Burlington House in 3-5 years time.

The Government is set to lose up to a third of the c. £26.7 million in economic benefits to the UK economy each year (PwC, 2019) from the Geological Society’s work, greatly exceeding what it receives from rent. This is in addition to the risk to the UK’s recognised position on the international stage.

Now is the time to guarantee the Society’s future at Burlington House.


 How you can help

 Frequently asked questions

arched doorway with geological society written above  exterior of burlington house and gsl doorway 

Contact

For questions about the campaign or to learn more about how you can help the Society stay at Burlington House, please email us at burlingtonhouse@geolsoc.org.uk.

Download the document 'Burlington House Apartments: Lease History and Status. 2021', as referred to in the letter sent by President Michael Daly on January 29th to all Fellows and Friends.