We are committed to increasing opportunities for the next generation in the UK Book Trade. Our development at Whetstone, London N20 will provide affordable accommodation for young people from diverse backgrounds, who live too away from London to commute and face financial constraints in taking up roles (first jobs, internships, apprenticeships) in the capital. You can help bring this project to completion - all donations are welcome, but why not consider sponsoring a Brick for £1,000 with your name on it (or perhaps sponsoring in memory of a loved one), or your company name?

The project will cost £3.1 million - the charity has used most of its reserves (£1.6 million) to start the project, and we have already raised £240,000.  Our target is to get this up to £500,000 in order to reduce the amount we have to take as a bank loan - repayment of which will impact on our budget until it is repaid!

It is not news that young people have great difficulty in finding affordable accommodation in London. Entrants to the book trade (publishing in particular, but also bookselling, distribution, bookbinding, book production and printing) face this difficulty. The industry is trying to improve its diversity and The Book Trade Charity is supporting these efforts by providing affordable housing for young people from a broader range of backgrounds to enter the trade. This includes BAME, those who do not live
in or near London, those from less well-off families, or who have not been to university – or are first in their family to do so.

In August 2016 The Book Trade Charity merged with The Bookbinders Charitable Society (BCS), acquiring twenty-two flats in North London (Whetstone N20, Barnet). In 2017, a pilot project saw one block of six
flats being re-developed to offer three refurbished one-bed flats (with
monthly rents around £800) plus three units of two bedsits (rents around
£400 pcm) - each sharing a kitchen and bathroom. All of these units
filled within weeks; we offered ‘foothold’ accommodation to young
people starting first jobs in the industry, apprenticeships, or long-term
internships. All of the first tranche of entrants have now moved on, at
their own choice; all are still employed in the book trade, justifying the
model envisaged.

The Board of BTBS agreed a plan for the provision of 17 units: affordable
bedsits, one- and two- bedroomed flats, with community space,
primarily for young people entering the Book Trade, on a mixed-age
charitable housing estate in North London.
Planning permission has now been granted to demolish two blocks of
four one-bed flats which were unsuitable for refurbishment, and replace
these with four blocks:
• Eight self-contained bedsits (at a cost of £125,000 each)
• Seven x one-bed flats (each of which could be utilised as two bedsits,
sharing kitchen/bathroom facilities) (at a cost of £175,000 each)
• Two x two-bed flats (at a cost of £210,000 each)
• Rooms for community activities and socialising
• Rents will be between £430 and £500 per person per month
These desirable units will be spacious, airy, comfortable and well
fitted-out; single-occupancy bedsits will be 40 M2, shared flats will be
56 – 66 M2.
The project build will commence in September 2019, completed by
December 2020 and will provide additional housing at affordable
rents for between 17 – 26 young people, and will continue to provide
accommodation to 12 ‘traditional’ retired and mid-career tenants, on
long-term tenancies.

The Book Trade Charity envisages spending some £3 million to plan and
complete the development
• The charity will fund over half of the costs from reserves (£1.6 million)
using funds from the merger with BCS, and the previous merger with
Matthew Hodder Charitable Trust (MHCT).
• Agreement has been reached with a bank (which provided loan
funding for previous development at The Retreat in Hertfordshire,
the charity’s other housing provision,) to cover the shortfall between
fundraising and the cost of the development. Repayment of any such
loan would extend the time for the project to reach break-even (on
• This project will produce additional annual income from rents of some
£140,000 pa, so is a sustainable investment.
We are looking to raise between £500,000 and £1.4 million, to complete
this project, and to reduce as far as possible, the medium term pressure
of servicing a bank loan.
Donations from Grant-making Trusts, book trade companies and
individuals can achieve this target.
• Major donations to sponsor individual flats (£125k - £210k) will be given
appropriate acknowledgement, including naming properties
• Significant contributions (£10k - £50k) would be appreciated and duly
acknowledged. Personal donations can gain the benefit of Gift Aid (a
further 25% of the donation reclaimed by BTBS – and 15% of the original
gift reclaimed by the donor against their tax bill).
• We are launching an appeal to ‘name a brick’ in return for donations
of £1,000 (target: 100 bricks); this will be suitable for smaller companies,
and individuals (where, again, this can be by Gift Aid donations) – and
donors can buy several bricks if so minded (choosing whatever names
they would like to go on them).