We are delighted to announce that Chris Beckwith has joined Currell as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Chris will head up the Residential Department and help the company with the next stage of growth.  Chris joins us with over 17 years in the industry and was a Director of one of Londons largest independent estate agents for over 14 years. Chris will be responsible for planning the strategic direction of the business expansion, largely through acquisitions.

Chris said: “I am excited to join Currell at a time when the business is expanding as my experience is in growing businesses.  I look forward to playing a part in the company’s continued growth and success.”

Anne Currell, Group CEO of Currell said: “This is a very exciting time for Currell. We are very encouraged by Chris’s appointment and look forward to working with him as we deliver our strategy for long term growth.”

Currell staff hit the slopes in sunny Courchevel this week for a few days of fresh mountain air.

15 staff signed up to the annual trip this year, all looking forward to starting the new year in the snowy Alps.

The trip was blessed with good weather and the group enjoyed a fantastic lunch in the sun at Le Panoramic restaurant, which stands at 2732m and faces Mont-Blanc.

And thankfully they all managed to ski down safely afterwards!

This year’s Christmas party was a black tie affair held at Fence Bar in Clerkenwell, to accomodate our growing numbers. A champagne reception, turkey dinner and secret santa set the festive mood, before the annual Currell staff awards were handed out by Anne and Chris Currell.

The awards are given to members of staff who have performed consistently or outstandingly throughout the year.

Our deserving winners this year include:

Simon Karajian – Employee of the Year

Jon Vidal – Employee of the Year Runner Up

Islington Office – Most Outstanding Office

Jon Vidal – Client Feedback Award

Ben Hobart – Highest Residential Sales

Tracey Cutts – Residential Management

James Neilson – Directors Award for Outstanding Performance

Anna Jencova – Administrator of the Year

Ritz Fitzgerald – Block Management

Terry Brown – Block Management

Lucy Currell – Highest New Homes Sales

Andy Lawson, Ben Hobart, Mark O’Kane, Guarav Sekhri, Tom Leatham & Sam Turley – Best Project Proposal

After the awards, the night continued with dancing into the small hours and ended almost certainly with a few sore heads the next morning.

Huge thanks go to Asima Hafesji and Diane Bridle for organising such a fabulous party for our ever growing company to enjoy.

Well done to all the winners and thank you to everyone at Currell for making 2013 another successful year.

The first Independent Secondary school in Islington will open to sixth form pupils in September 2014 at 6-9 Canonbury Place, a historic Tudor Building.

North Bridge House Canonbury is being set up by North Bridge House School in Hampstead, which currently caters for pupils from nursery to GCSE level. The new school will cater for pupils up to A-level.

The project has received £3.5m worth of investment from Cognita, an Independent schools company, headed up by Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of schools.

Local residents have been angered however by what they consider to be a ‘fait accompli’ by Mr Woodhead as public consultation only opened after the lease of the building had been signed over.

Residents also harbour concerns that the character of the area will be affected due to traffic congestion, noise from ‘loitering pupils’ and potential conflicts with state school pupils.

David Gibson, head of operations at Cognita, has stressed that market research has shown high demand for a private secondary school in the area and that upon opening it will only be attended by 50 pupils.

Residents are calling for a community member to be on the Governing body of the school to ensure that the local community is represented when the school makes decisions that could affect them.

Current Head of North Bridge in Hampstead Georgina Masefield has sought to reassure the local community that her pupils are model citizens. Mrs Masefield said: ‘They go to homes for the elderly to do music therapy and we have an outreach programme to a local school for special needs.

‘Our pupils do have a positive relationship with the community.’

If you would like any advice on living in the Islington area then please feel free to visit us at 321 Upper Street, N1 2XQ or call us on 0207 226 4200.

Lucie, who grew up in South London, has been fascinated by art from an early age. She went on to study Fine Art Painting at City & Guild of London Art School, receiving a first class degree. Some of the painitngs in her series ‘Ladies of the Chorus’ are currently on display in our Battersea office, as part of the Currell Collection. We spoke to Lucie to find out more.

What does this collection represent?

It’s a study of the fluidity and fragility of this particular group of personalities.

Can you tell us about the process of making the paintings?

I think of them as ‘stain paintings’, and the way they’re made is really important in the process of application and removal that forms each piece. When you paint with watercolour on canvas like this, the paint doesn’t sink in, it sits on the surface until you work it in with sponges – up to that point the paint would be very easy to wipe away. So it’s all about layering, and what you end up with represents the different layers of each person’s identity. It’s quite abstract but for me, it’s about leaving behind a trace of that person’s emotions.

Do you like being independent from a specific gallery? 

For now it is definitely the right decision for me. If I were to sign with a gallery right now I might not get shows too regularly, but breaking out on my own I can decide for myself and get involved in exciting projects, as I’ve been fortunate to do here at Currell Residential.

Lucie with a selcetion of pieces from her ‘Ladies of the Chorus’ collection.

To find out more about the Currell Collection please visit the website www.currellcollection.com

To contact our Battersea office please phone 020 3668 1000 or come in and visit us at 205 Lavender Hill, SW11 5TB.

Volunteering is one those things that I’ve had in my head to do for some time now but have never quite got round to.  Therefore, when Lizzie from ‘Islington Giving’ came to do a talk at a staff meeting, it was the perfect opportunity for me to make a start.

Sadly, a couple of years ago my lovely aunt and uncle both passed away and I very much miss them. I used to visit them regularly, helping out around the house and garden with things they were finding more difficult to do as they were getting older. My relationship with them and the affinity I have with older people is what made me volunteer for Age UK.

Every Wednesday from 2-4pm I ‘host’ a local Islington community group where we do different activities each week. The members themselves choose what they want to do and activities range from knitting to playing bingo and more recently sewing bunting for a Music Hall event.  At the last couple of sessions we made Christmas cards. Most of the group members live on the local Packington Estate and it’s a great opportunity for them to get together and catch up.

We have teas and coffees and one of the ladies bakes for us, which is always a bonus!  Sometimes we just chat about the good old days and occasionally a guest speaker will come to talk to everyone from a local organisation. These sessions are always very good and get everyone fired up. This week we have a local doctor coming to talk to the group about taking care of themselves during the winter months.

I am not the most confident of people but volunteering definitely brings me out of myself. I quite often head off to these sessions feeling stressed from my work but when I get there, I completely relax and enjoy myself. It is fantastic to think that I am doing some good for other people and hopefully everyone in the group looks forward to our get togethers as much as I do.


If you feel inspired by Fiona’s story then please visit the Islington Giving website and find out more about their work: http://www.islingtongiving.org.uk/website/

Our recently launched Affordable Homes department has received its first instruction from Gallions Housing Association on Parkside View, a shared ownership development in the Royal Docks.

Parkside View is a riverside development that forms part of the wider regeneration of the Royal Docks area, Europe’s largest regeneration project with the potential for £22bn worth of investment.

Martin Fillery, Head of Currell Affordable Homes said: “I am very excited that our first instruction has come from a regeneration project of this scale that will totally transform this area of London.

“Gallions Housing Association understands the importance of providing high quality housing for local people and they work closely with the local community to ensure that they will benefit from projects in their area.

“With house prices continually increasing, it is vital that affordable housing is provided for workers in the city on lower incomes. Parkside View gives regular Londoners the chance to purchase a home that is well connected to central London and most importantly, affordable.”

The final phase of 1 bedroom apartments at Parkside View, E16 are launching 5th, 6th and 7th December. To register your interest please email: affordablehomes@currell.com or phone Martin Fillery on 0207 226 6611.

To learn more about Currell Affordable Homes please visit our website: http://www.currell.com/new-homes/currell-affordable-homes

Last night our new Affordable Homes department officially launched at the Charlotte Street Hotel in Soho, with 70 guests in attendance.

Mike Youkee, a board member of the Greater London Authority, was our key note speaker for the night. He delivered a fascinating speech on the challenges facing housing associations in London, with particular emphasis on affordable housing provision.

He also discussed the idea of a limit being put in place on the amount of London homes sold overseas to ease the housing shortage, as well as sharing his opinion about the Mayor’s delivery of affordable homes for the capital.

The night was a huge success and we would like to thank all of our guests and Mike Youkee for attending, as well as the Charlotte Street Hotel for providing delicious refreshments and a great venue.

Affordable Homes Launch

If you would like to find out more about Currell Affordable Homes please contact Martin Fillery on 0207 226 6611 or visit our website http://www.currell.com/new-homes/currell-affordable-homes

David Cameron reacted this week to accusations that Help to Buy will not enable the social mobility that he declared the scheme would deliver.

Criticism from former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major led Mr Cameron to re-affirm his belief that the mortgage guarantee programme will help Britons “move on and up in life.”

Mr Cameron said: “This is about social mobility. The fact is that without Help to Buy we were beginning to see a country where only people who had wealthy mums and dads who could give them money for their deposit were able to buy a flat or a house.”

For Sir John Major however, housing is just one part of the large disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

Sir John Major made clear his distaste that “in every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power in 2013 are overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class.”

Despite blaming previous Labour administrations for the disintegration of social mobility, his comments come at a time when Mr Cameron is largely regarded as ‘out of touch’ with ordinary people.

Mr Cameron is keen to promote the success of the home buyer scheme after these comments, announcing that 2000 people have put in offers using the scheme in just one month, amounting to £365m in mortgage lending.

While these numbers are positive, critics are keen to point out that because the scheme now applies to second hand homes not just new builds, it is increasing demand without increasing supply.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has described Help to Buy as an “ill thought through” policy that is detrimental to home-ownership for first time buyers and will not allow for social mobility as the Prime Minister claims.

The Grade II listed Victorian swimming baths in Haggerston have been included in The Victorian Society’s Top 10 endangered buildings list, as plans to save it have failed during the recession.

Opened in 1904, the baths were commissioned by Shoreditch Borough Council to serve the needs of what was an underprivileged area. Designed by architect AW Cross, the building was designed to be impressive.

The building has now been closed and boarded up since 2000. Despite being a stone’s throw away from Olympic sporting facilities and Kingsland Road, the pool complex has been left neglected and failed to attract funding.

Local campaigners are calling for Hackney Council to save the building and proposals to turn it into a new healthcare centre have been proposed.

The Victorian Society is appealing to the council and says: “At a time when there is so much new development in the area it is important to capitalise on our existing assets and to put important buildings like Haggerston Baths into public use again.”