Although Ethical Property was established in 1998, the concept was first conceived 16 years earlier. In 1982, Andrew King bought 82 Colston Street, Bristol in order to house some of the many co-operatives springing up across the city. The first tenants were the Soil Association, now the country’s leading campaign organisation for organic food and farming and sustainable forestry, and Saferworld, the research and campaign group on armaments, now well-established in central London.
Andrew wanted to offer his tenants reasonable rents, a supportive landlord, a secure and welcoming place from which to work and the chance to share premises and resources with a range of like-minded organisations. By doing this he was to gain from a secure investment that produced a financial return as well as generating a strong social benefit.
Andrew went on to buy a further three buildings in Colston Street. The wide variety of tenants supported by his investment made Colston Street well-known for its unique and colourful character.
In 1986 Jamie Hartzell began working with Andrew when they together bought 84 Colston Street and in 1994, Jamie then bought 1A Waterlow Road, in Archway, London. Later that year, with the help of Triodos Bank, the Archway premises were expanded to their current size, housing 12 campaign groups and charities working on environmental, developmental, refugee, human rights and alternative finance issues.
In 1998, after several years of research and development, Andrew and Jamie decided to form The Ethical Property Company PLC and the London and Bristol properties were transferred into the new company.
With the help of Triodos Bank and Malcolm Lynch Solicitors, our first share issue was then launched in May 1999 raising £1.72 million which was invested in seven new centres in Bristol, London, Leeds and Oxford. Further centres have since been purchased in Bath, Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester and Sheffield .....and the rest is history.