WHEN Lingfield Point dreamed up the idea of holding a Festival of Thrift it rather surprised the world of commercial property… but the outstanding results speak for themselves.
We think the ethos behind creating a hugely-popular free event sums up everything that makes Lingfield Point a continuing hit with its customers.
We believe that art and culture have an enormous role to play these days in enhancing the world of people at work.
John Orchard, one of the founders of the festival and our very own director says “People ask me all the time why we did the festival. Some mistakenly see it as frivolous and irrelevant to the world of commercial property – but we see it as a valuable showcase for everything we’re doing at Lingfield Point – and a great opportunity to have some fun.”
John came up with the idea for the festival along with renowned designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, who loved the fact that Lingfield Point’s office buildings have been upcycled from the former Patons and Baldwins wool factory.
“Wayne runs The Vintage Festival, which is hugely successful. Between us we came up with the concept of the Festival of Thrift which chimes with the mood of the time and feels very much at home at Lingfield Point – a great example of upcycling on a grand scale
“We originally thought it would appeal to a niche audience of ‘thrifters’ (makers, remakers, upcyclers, growers etc) but when more than 27,000 visitors turned up we realised just how strong the desire to live differently is.
“These people had come because it was a ‘cool’ event but also because they wanted to learn how to make this, reinvent things and grow things,” said John.
A wonderful weekend at Festival of Thrift
The same principles run through everything Lingfield Point does and John argues that the enduring popularity of Lingfield Point shows the value that art and culture can bring into the working environment.
“Again, it’s not the sort of stuff that most commercial property companies get into.
“We have a lot of art – from Futurescope, which is a series of enormous images that are visible from the surrounding roads to lots more ‘hidden’ artist treasures around the site.
“It makes people smile and we like that. We have installed beehives and produce our own honey every year, we have allotments, a knitting circle, book club, cycling group and lots more to keep people interested in what’s going on at Lingfield Point.
“I don’t know of another commercial scheme that goes so far to help people enjoy their work experience – and that is certainly a USP for us and results in genuine return on investment not only in attracting customers but also keeping them and helping them grow.
“The ‘extras’ we offer put a smile on the faces of the people who work here and therefore helps to boost staff retention and boost productivity, which is very important for many of the businesses based here.
“All our amenities have been created as a result of direct customer feedback. We ask them what they want and do our very best to give it to them and keep giving it to them,” said John.
Last year’s Festival of Thrift was so successful – attracting 27,000 people – that a second is planned for Saturday 27 & 28 September this year. Why not check out the 2014 programme at www.festivalofthrift.co.uk.
*For more details on the lovely landscape of Lingfield Point, please visit www.lingfieldpoint.co.uk