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The Cass sells Aldgate home

Cass protest

The Cass has confirmed it has sold its Aldgate home despite protests from students, staff and leading industry figures 

Developer Frasers Property announced it had paid an undisclosed sum for the London Metropolitan University’s (LMU) 1960s Central House building - a former textiles warehouse and the much-loved home to the university’s school of architecture.

The Cass will lease the building in east London from the property company until August 2017.

The sale is part of a controversial scheme which will see the school relocate from its so-called ‘Aldgate Bauhaus’ to join other departments at LMU’s campus in Holloway Road, north London. The move is expected to reap £50 million for the university.

The plans had sparked outrage and were met with protests and the resignation of a number of key members of staff including head of school Robert Mull.

A petition against the proposed move had gained more than 3,000 signatures and leading names including David Chipperfield and Richard Rogers had also voiced concern over the plans.

A spokesman for the Cass told the AJ: ‘We have negotiated a sale price which is significantly above the expected market value, which means we can put even more resource into our One Campus, One Community project to create a new home for The Cass and all of our students in Holloway.’

He added: ‘We are creating a new home for The Cass in Islington and are committed to ensuring its making ethos and philosophy of teaching endures.’

In a statement Frasers Property said it was considering its options for the site and is set to consult with stakeholders and the local community.

Simon Lear, chief executive of Frasers Property said: ‘Central House is very well-located, and [we are] delighted to have this fantastic opportunity to add to the thriving and vibrant mix of culture and commerce in the area.‘


Readers' comments (2)

  • Some remarkable spin from the developer - '...consult with stakeholders' and '...add to the thriving and vibrant mix of culture and commerce in the area'. Shutting the gate after the horse has bolted?

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  • It is London Metropolitan University that has sold the Cass's Central House, and it is they that also sold the Cass's other building further along Commercial Road including the industrial quality workshops that are so crucial to the teaching of practical design and making.

    A move to temporary accommodation in Aldgate is being rushed through, too fast to stand a chance of being satisfactory.

    The spokesman you quote is from London Metropolitan University, not The Cass.

    London Metropolitan University have no clear plans in place for new accommodation in Holloway, nor is there any certainty about the future of courses at the Cass. London Metropolitan's inexplicable and clumsy announcement that the musical instrument making, jewellery and silversmithing course are to be closed, do not bode well.

    The departure of Cass Dean, Robert Mull, was not the result of a protest resignation. He was brutally removed by the heavy handed host university, regardless of his crucial leadership role and the unanimous support he enjoyed from the whole Cass community.

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