First and foremost, we have grown the business, and I am thrilled to say we now have 25 employees, which is almost double where we were at last year. We’re also housing nearly 1,000 licensees across 150 properties in London and the South East, which is the highest number we have ever had. To accommodate our growing team, we moved to a fantastic office space in Brixton, a former furniture workshop, which has been a really positive step in creating a work from office environment in a space where our team truly want to be.
I have been incredibly proud of my team this year, and the numbers above speak for themselves. A particular shout out goes to Andre Tulloch who won the RESI Trailblazer Award. Andre joined LOWE on the maintenance helpdesk, and he now heads up the property services team, so it’s been an incredibly proud moment for me to see his hard work recognised in the wider industry. It’s the first time one of my team have been awarded such a prestigious award and it’s testament to Andre’s hard work, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.
Social impact plays a huge part in everything we do at LOWE, and the relationships we have built with our charitable partners have gone from strength to strength. In particular Regenerate, where I was fortunate enough to join founder Andy Smith and a group of young people for a few days on their charity cycle ride, Rome2Home. During this time, I met the Isaac, who is now one of the young people we have started employing through a LOWE apprenticeship scheme. Isaac has been an incredible addition to the team, and his positive attitude has been superb, it’s great to have him on board!
We have also been supporting Young Lewisham Project, a youth programme supporting young people who might not be maximising their full potential in mainstream education. Andre was heavily involved in the project when he was younger, and the team at YLP had a huge impact on his life when he was growing up. We have been helping them with a refurbishment across their bathrooms, and it’s been a great way for our team to see first-hand the impact they are having in changing lives in south London.
Our relationship with Solidarity Sports has grown over the years, and we are so lucky to have them using the commercial space at our Seven Stars property, as part of the Earls Court Development Company placemaking scheme. This is such a fantastic organisation, and we are thrilled to be rolling out our volunteering programme with them for 2024, open to our team and licensees.
Finally, Brixton-based charity Bounce Back, is an organisation which is particularly close to our heart. For the past two years we have been working with Bounce Back in helping ex-offenders back into meaningful employment, and we began hiring prison leavers into our maintenance team which has been a huge success. You can read about our experience here, which was recently published in Property Week. We also did a full refurbishment of the visitor’s garden at Brixton Prison, which was an awesome project and a fulfilling way for us to get involved in the local community.
As the company has grown, we have taken on a host of new properties, and we’re looking at expanding outside of London – we have taken on a number of new projects in Winchester, and we are looking at opportunities in Bristol and the surrounding areas. Next year, our main area of growth will be to grow our artist studios and makers spaces. We currently have 800 studios across our portfolio, and we’re looking to double that number over the next 12 months, working alongside our partner arts charities.
We have much to look forward to, but as ever, we wouldn’t be where we are without the support from our clients, partners, and licensees, so thank you! From my team and I, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Founder & Director