London's housing boom is pushing businesses out of the West End, a leading commercial property advisor has warned.

Trocadero rescued by Burford for pounds 94m: Office space will be converted to leisure use

BURFORD, the fast-growing property company, confirmed yesterday that it had bought the Trocadero leisure complex out of receivership for pounds 94m, writes Tom Stevenson.

Games: Just the place for players

SOME years ago, at the main British games show, I was amused to overhear the respective buyers from Hamleys, of Regent Street in London, and F A O Schwarz, of Fifth Avenue, New York, each earnestly claiming to represent the largest toyshop in the world.

An empty future feared for offices

DEMAND for office space is unlikely to keep pace with the growth of the economy, or even the rate of employment in the service sector.

THEATRE / All the world's a workshop: Joan Littlewood revolutionised the stage. Irving Wardle reviews her autobiography, and her life

WHEN Joan Littlewood slammed the door on the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, in 1975 and went permanently to ground in France, she brought a chapter of English theatre history to a close.

Conrad Ritblat buys new London office buildings

CONRAD RITBLAT, the surveyor that gained a stock market quotation last year by merging with Sinclair Goldsmith, yesterday put its own investors' money behind the flood of bullish comment on the property market, writes Tom Stevenson.

Letter: Tax and the ability to pay

IN HIS penetrating article on the tax system ('Time to be direct about higher taxes', Business, 7 November) Christopher Huhne says the best taxes to maximise incentives are lump sum taxes where everyone pays the same regardless of income.

Property: It pays to live at the office: Commercial properties in London are being turned into flats and houses. Amanda Seidl investigates

A bed in the office must have seemed a useful accessory to many an overworked executive burning the midnight oil, but how many people would consider going the whole hog and converting the office into a home?

Hemingway losses deepen

HEMINGWAY Properties sank further into loss at the halfway stage, largely because of compensation payments to two former directors, writes Russell Hotten.

Architecture Update: Guidelines for listed buildings

NEW guidance on listed buildings places emphasis on the need to keep them in viable use. A note issued jointly by the Department of National Heritage and the Department of the Environment says that in future planning authorities must take into account the future use and financing of buildings considered worthy of listing. The note also emphasises the need for a more selective approach to listing and says priority will go to the best buildings of types currently under-represented. An announcement on the listing of post-war office buildings and factories will be issued in the autumn.

Gunman opens fire in office

A gunman opened fire on the 34th floor of an office building in San Francisco's business district yesterday, wounding at least six people. No deaths were immediately reported, a police spokesman said. He couldn't say how seriously the victims were wounded, AP reports from San Francisco.

Letter: Don't damn Lloyd's tower before you've seen inside

IN HIS article 'Lloyd's counts the cost of keeping 'The Espresso Machine' sweet' (6 June) Jay Thompson isolates the cost of maintenance and repair of the Lloyd's Insurance Market from all other criteria to attack the technological sophistication of the building. The article states that maintenance costs Lloyd's 50 per cent more than it would in 'less sophisticated premises', but fails to source that statistic or justify the relevance of the comparison.

'Biggest VAT ring' cracked by Customs: Treasury estimated to have lost pounds 10m

CUSTOMS officers yesterday claimed to have cracked Britain's biggest VAT fraud ring after a series of raids across the country.

How the mighty mills are fallen

ONCE they were the symbol of Britain's industrial might, an economic and visual focus for thousands of communities. They were places where children as well as adults laboured for long hours in hazardous conditions. Yet, despite the crucial historic role of Britain's textile mills, so many have been demolished or left to decay that some types are in danger of being lost for ever, writes Jason Bennetto.

Bunhill: Fun house

GOOD to see that Peter Brooke, the National Heritage Secretary, has finally got the national lottery off the ground. The Ministry of Fun is paying pounds 25 a square foot to move 250 staff into 66,800 square feet of sumptuous offices off Trafalgar Square.
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable