Centre point of attention

28th September 2007 at 01:00

Staff at the Association of Colleges have enjoyed spectacular views from offices on the 5th floor of Centre Point, London's 19th tallest building and one of the most well known features on the West End skyline, but have now moved to a new home around the corner in the interests of saving money on behalf of the colleges who pay their wages.

So what of floors 6 to 9, occupied by the Learning and Skills Council? My spies have been waiting to see whether the LSC would be too embarrassed to stay behind in the ivory tower, having gone to so much effort to lecture the colleges and the AoC about the need to provide good value for money for the taxpayers' hard-earned cash.

I can now confirm that the LSC's removal men will indeed be making an appearance at the building. Except, rather than arriving with empty boxes ready to be filled with red tape destined for a new home, they will be bringing office furniture, filing cabinets and computers.

Far from moving out, the LSC has decided to expand it presence in the tower by moving into the 5th floor the very space being vacated by the AoC.

I am told the LSC has decided the tower would make an ideal new London home for Chris Banks, the chairman, who is presently based in the plush surroundings of Grosvenor Gardens.

And I understand Mark Haysom, the chief executive, and other luminaries based at the LSC's Coventry headquarters, will be using the floor when they have business in the capital.

One can only assume that the LSC has plenty of cash sloshing around as a result of its very careful funding of colleges and has therefore been able to raise the tone of the neighbourhood by displacing the low-rent AoC.

Or perhaps it has applied its expertise in ensuring value for money and secured a better deal for the space than the previous tenants.

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