NatWest’s ex-chief govt Fred the Shred’s £350m ‘folly’ is a welcome centre for Ukraine refugees

NatWest former chief govt Sir Fred Goodwin took a private curiosity in each element of his £350million headquarters

First, it was ‘Fred’s Folly’ – a sprawling headquarters that stood as a monument to monstrous govt ego. 

Then it turned a convention centre and, throughout lockdown, even housed a meals financial institution. 

Now NatWest’s gigantic workplace on the outskirts of Edinburgh has discovered one other goal. 

The self-importance venture that symbolised the company hubris of the financial institution’s former chief govt Fred Goodwin has been dealing with as much as 80 refugees a day as they flee the battle in Ukraine. 

The ‘welcome hub’ on the Gogarburn campus near the town’s airport affords them rapid assist and help whereas their purposes are assessed and everlasting lodging is discovered. 

It’s all a far cry from the freewheeling days earlier than the monetary disaster when Goodwin took a private curiosity in each element of the £350million glass and sandstone improvement. 

It was at odds with his popularity as a ruthless jobscutter that led to his nickname ‘Fred the Shred’. 

And so, maybe not surprisingly, his attorneys took exception to an article claiming he had a particular ‘scallop kitchen’ put in near his workplace to serve his favorite lunch. 

It was later made clear that all kinds of luxurious seafood was actually ready within the kitchen. 

However the workplace was the centrepiece of Goodwin’s world banking empire constructed by greater than 20 acquisitions. 

Nevertheless, the debt-fuelled shopping for spree caught up with him as cash markets dried up and his ambitions unravelled. 

The advanced was formally opened with nice fanfare by the Queen in 2005. However simply three years later, Goodwin was pressured to resign after the financial institution – then often known as RBS and, briefly, the most important on the planet – needed to be bailed out by taxpayers at a price of £45billion. 

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The Treasury nonetheless controls 48.5 per cent of NatWest, which modified its group identify from RBS in 2020. 

Goodwin, knighted in 2004 for companies to banking, was unceremoniously stripped of the honour in 2012 after he was criticised for extreme risk-taking within the run-up to the 2008-09 monetary disaster. 

Today the sprawling site of Gogarburn has become a centre for handling Ukrainian refugees

At present the sprawling website of Gogarburn has turn into a centre for dealing with Ukrainian refugees

The large 100-acre campus stays the financial institution’s official headquarters, with as much as 6,000 employees. 

However since lockdown, many have been working from dwelling. In addition to a convention centre, it accommodates a nursery, well being membership and a enterprise college. 

Greater than 7,000 refugees have arrived in Scotland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most of them beneath the Scottish Authorities’s ‘super-sponsor’ scheme, not too long ago paused to permit extra time to take care of visa purposes.

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