Securing Our Future at Burlington House

With our location at Burlington House secure, we can focus on working for a world where nature is understood, valued, and protected

Published on 8th March 2024

We have reached an agreement with the UK Government to enable the Society to stay in our purpose-built home at Burlington House.

Alongside the other four courtyard societies, we have agreed a one-off payment to secure a 999-year leasehold at the property.

Our members’ support for our campaign to stay at Burlington House was inspirational. We’re excited to begin this new chapter with them to use our building to support the natural world, both nationally and internationally.

This new security of tenure will allow us to make our premises more accessible and sustainable, as well as build on our extensive public engagement activities. This will mean that responsibility for the fabric of the building will transfer from the Government to the societies.

Professor Anjali Goswami, President of the Linnean Society, said: “We are delighted to join with the rest of the courtyard societies and secure the future Burlington House as a centre of science and heritage. The building is not only home to our unique collection, but a hub for our national and international work to understand, value and protect the natural world.

“For the Linnean Society, this deal begins a new stage in our evolution, allowing us to invest in our building and make it more sustainable and accessible. It provides a foundation for our strategy to manage our collections and engage with our members and the public to work on behalf of the natural world.

“We are incredibly grateful to our membership and community for their contributions to our campaign to stay in our building. Your continued support will be vital in the next steps to safeguard our Society for future generations. I look forward to seeing you here for many years to come!”

The Save Burlington House Campaign

The campaign to save Burlington House began due to the rising rent costs which were projected to become unsustainable for the Society. As a result, the societies entered negotiations with the Government to find a long-term solution.

In particular, the implications for the Linnean Society were:

  • The risk to our historical collection that would arise from a forced move
  • The impact of removal from Burlington House on our charitable objectives, our partnerships and relationships with other scientific and cultural societies
  • The financial implications of either a move, or increasing rent of Burlington House.

The campaign resulted in a huge groundswell of support from our members and supporters, as well as coverage in the press. Thank you to those who sent messages or wrote to their MPs.

The future

Over the coming months and years, we hope to make the most of our secured location. We will be launching our new strategic plan soon. We will also work with the other courtyard societies to develop Burlington House, which we have previously been unable to invest in due to the uncertainty over our tenure.

You can be a part of this future by becoming a member of the Society, attending our exhibitions and events, or using our historic building for your own events or meetings.

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