Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund III
Date of Initial Investment
Julie Fawcett - Managing Director
Paul Lewis - Financial Director
Paul Rinkens - Concept Developer
Challenge: The London borough of Tower Hamlets is in the 2% most deprived area the UK, and at the time of our investment in Qbic in 2012, the Whitechapel district was in dire need of regeneration. More generally, the 2008 financial crisis has also led to a glut of disused office space around the UK, compounding the lack of economic dynamism in these underserved areas.
Investable Solution: Qbic Hotel is an innovative boutique hotel concept that enables the re-use of redundant buildings in underserved areas. Qbic offers affordable yet stylish accommodation to leisure and business travellers from as little as £69 per night. Its 171 rooms feature innovative designs based around the ‘Qbi’, a pre-fabricated bedroom that allows old office buildings to be retro-fitted into a hotel quickly, efficiently and with minimal environmental impact. Qbi pods are made largely from recycled materials and the hotel is fitted out with a number of green technologies to reduce operating costs and save on carbon emissions.
Outcomes: Qbic Hotel is encouraging local spend in the Whitechapel district by bringing tourists to the area, while services are outsourced to local independent businesses. In addition, over 50% of staff have been recruited from the local area, with all employees paid above the London Living Wage.
Qbic was the first ever London hotel to achieve TripAdvisor’s GreenLeader Platinum status for its extensive sustainability measures, and was recently established as the first hotel in the world to achieve B Corp status.
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