The news has been so downbeat and tragic for so many people in recent months for the reasons we all know, so it is a good feeling to be able to share a rather more positive news story.
Back in 2018, IIMS members at the AGM voted and mandated me to find office accommodation to purchase as an asset for the Institute when our rental term expired. Little did I know that a little over two years on, we would complete the purchase of Murrills House (offices we had rented for the past 10 years) and which we now own. Yes, on Friday 31st July 2020, we formally completed the deal and are now the proud owners of a delightful Grade II listed, former manor house, set in grounds in the small town of Portchester, UK – a valuable new asset for members.
There is some renovation work to do, which has been scoped out, to bring the property back to its former glory and we expect to commission and start that in the coming weeks, subject to planning permission for some of the work from the local council.
Not only have we become property owners, but we are now landlords to Casson Beckman, once our landlords, now our tenants in an unusual reversal or roles.
Although a challenge with many hurdles along the way, the completion of the purchase of Murrills House marks a very successful extended trading period over the first seven months of the year. Despite the pandemic, our trading in all areas has been very strong with the exception of the Certifying Authority, which saw revenues go off a cliff edge at the start of the lockdown. But that has bounced back spectacularly in recent weeks. We have enjoyed record levels of new students joining our Professional Qualifications distance learning programme and have seen a surge in new membership applications which have surpassed previous record levels. And our series of a dozen plus online seminars has attracted many hundreds of marine surveyors to join us to learn, update and refresh their skills during what for many has been an enforced career break.
We’ll raise a glass to toast our purchase of Murrills House.
Chief Executive Officer