London Business School today (Nov. 30) announced that it will begin leasing the Old Marylebone Town Hall in London where former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were married. The move amounts to a major expansion for London, which is generally regarded as one of the two best business schools in Europe with INSEAD.
The iconic Town Hall building, about a six-minute walk from LBS’ main campus, will represent a 70% increase in the overall size of the school. Its acquisition is a major coup for both London Business School and its dean, Sir Andrew Likierman, who intends to use the new facility as the centerpiece of an expansion strategy that will allow the school to move closer to a U.S. model of funding with far more support from alumni.
A little over a year ago, in October, Poets&Quants reported that London Business School was seeking to dramatically expand its size by acquiring a new building within walking distance of its campus near St. Regent’s Park in London. LBS is ranked as the second best business school outside the U.S. by Poets&Quants, behind only INSEAD.
WILL ADD SEVERAL 100-SEAT LECTURE THEATERS BY 2017
“The acquisition of Old Marylebone Town Hall gives us a terrific opportunity to enhance the campus experience for our students and to provide for future expansion,” said Sir Andrew Likierman, dean of London Business School, in a statement. “Our intention is to transform the magnificent Town Hall into a world-class teaching facility whilst being sensitive to the original architectural design of the landmark building. In addition to a 200-seat and several 100-seat lecture theatres with associated seminar rooms, it is planned to include study, social and dining facilities as well as more offices. It will become an integral part of the School’s Regent’s Park campus.”
The school said the new facility will open in 2017 after major renovations, which are expected to cost nearly $100 million.
Sir Andrew told The Financial Times that he would be open to a naming gift to help offset the costs of the expansion, though the school may also dip into its reserves or take out a short-term loan to pay for the expansion.