New base in Bloomsbury from 2019 will ‘usher in a new era for the Society of Authors’

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
The SoA has exchanged contracts on current and new properties, with plans to move in March 2019.

Photograph © 2018 Tim Gallagher

After five years of discussion, consultation and searching, we have taken the next major step in SoA history – selling our current home in Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, and purchasing a six-storey central London address in Bedford Row, Bloomsbury.

Over the past few years, as our membership has grown to more than 10,000, the size of our staff team has had to grow with it, and our current address has become increasingly unfit for purpose. Drayton Gardens is outdated, inaccessible for many members, and desperately in need of modernisation.

The move and redevelopment, which will be entirely funded from the sale of our properties in Drayton Gardens, will offer a far more accessible social environment for members, and working environment for staff and visitors. The new property will offer many advantages, including:

  • Better transport links, with a mainline station and tube station a few minutes away.
  • Full disabled access.
  • Better events and meeting space.
  • A drop-in space for members to work or meet.
  • Better facilities for remote sharing of meetings and events
  • Better working conditions for staff.

We have many months of design and refurbishment ahead of us and we aim to be able to complete the move by the end of March 2019.

Commenting on the move, Chair of the SoA Management Committee David Donachie said:

The Society of Authors is a vibrant, growing organisation – and to keep growing and fully supporting our members we need the right home. Moving to 24 Bedford Row will be transformational for us in so many ways – giving us a chance to completely adapt the space to suit our members’ needs, as well as for the staff team. This major step in 2019 will usher in a new era for the Society of Authors.

History of the SoA in addresses

The SoA has made a home at several addresses since 1884, however 24 Bedford Row will be only the second property the organisation has owned.

Before formal incorporation the Council met at 19 Garrick Street and the Committee of Management at 6 Queen Anne’s Gate Westminster. Our first official address was 24 Salisbury Street in the Strand. Over the next 50 years we leased the following office premises:

  • 1887-1901: 4 Portugal Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields
  • 1901-1913: Storey’s Gate Westminster
  • 1913-1925: Tothill Street, Westminster
  • 1925-1939: 11 Gower Street Bloomsbury

The SoA moved to 84 Drayton Gardens 79 years ago in 1939. The move to 24 Bedford Row will take us back to just a few minutes’ walk from our first office in Portugal Street.

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