LSE is starting the next stage of its campus redevelopment programme. In 2013 the School was successful in the purchase of the freehold of 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields (44LIF). 44LIF is currently used as a research facility by Cancer Research UK (CRUK). CRUK are expected to vacate the building and relocate to the newly built Francis Crick Institute in St Pancras during 2017. The existing building is a purpose built and designed laboratory building.
Located at the southwest corner of the Fields, the site is within the Strand Conservation Area and in the local authority jurisdiction of Westminster City Council. It is bounded by two listed buildings, the Royal College of Surgeons to the east and the 'Old Curiosity Shop' to the southwest. LSE owns, or leases, the majority of the neighbouring buildings.
The existing 44 LIF building comprises some 17000m2 Gross Internal Area (GIA) of floor space. The building was constructed in three phases during the mid and latter part of last century and will have residual risks that need to be considered in the next phase of development. It currently comprises 8 storeys and has 3 basements.
It has been concluded by LSE that a new building would provide the most flexible and efficient means of satisfying the School's requirements and, through its redevelopment, LSE expects to maximise the development potential of this valuable central London site within the constraints of the town planning criteria and the rights to light envelope.
London's largest and most historic garden square, Lincoln's Inn Fields has a rich and varied history. In 1683 it was the site of the public beheading of Lord William Russell, son of the First Duke of Bedford, for his part in a plot to assassinate King Charles II. The attractive square comes complete with tennis courts, a netball court, a café, historic monuments and a bandstand. It is owned and managed by the London Borough of Camden. Lincoln's Inn Fields was first made a public square in 1894 and has become an iconic open space in the busy heart of London. It is protected by an Act of Parliament which seeks to preserve the distinctive character of the Fields.
The purchase of the freehold of 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields expands LSE's portfolio of buildings to five on the square and, aside from the Royal College of Surgeons, the School now owns or has interest in the entire south side of the square.