Royal College of Surgeons' commercial arm cheers milestone

The commercial arm of the Edinburgh institution is celebrating a highly successful first decade. Picture: Contributed
The commercial arm of the Edinburgh institution is celebrating a highly successful first decade. Picture: Contributed
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The commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is celebrating a decade of growth.

Formed following the 500th anniversary of the college, the commercial enterprises division was launched in 2006. It was tasked with making the most of the institution's buildings, with all the profits being invested back into running the college.

The commercial operation, which started out as just three people, is now celebrating its own landmark anniversary, having grown into a 90-strong team generating annual revenues of £4.5 million.

Neil Hamilton, business development manager and a founding member of the original team, said the work of commercial enterprises would help further the aims of the college for centuries to come.

"There can't be many organisations founded with a distinct vision for the next 500 years - and if the first ten are anything to go by we are well on track to deliver our ultimate goal.

"During the first discussions more than ten years ago, we were tasked with making the best possible use of the many impressive buildings owned by the college.

"Given the rooms and spaces at our disposal it was a real opportunity, but the challenge was that we had to deliver quickly in order to support the important work of the college."

Closely following the launch of the operation was the transformation of the college residencies into the 77-room Ten Hill Place hotel in 2006. The success of the hotel culminated in takings of £2.7m last year, achieved thanks to an impressive 88 per cent occupancy rate, with discussions ongoing regarding a significant expansion. Further success has been achieved providing venues for conferences.

Moira Walker, marketing manager and a fellow founding member of the team, said: "It is amazing just how busy we now are, considering that we started, effectively from scratch, just ten years ago.

"The great thing here is the ambition. Not one year has passed with us sitting still and we have achieved a staggering amount over the past ten years - all driven by the charitable aims at the heart of everything we do."

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