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Pitch@Palace hopes for new lease of life at WeWork building

The Duke of York’s flagship business project has secured a new home close to Buckingham Palace as it seeks to rebuild after a torrid couple of months.

Sky News has learnt that Pitch@Palace is moving to a WeWork building in Victoria as it finalises this year’s international schedule of events for entrepreneurs.

Insiders said that Pitch@Palace Global Limited, which will continue to be run by Amanda Thirsk, the duke’s former private secretary, will publish details of forthcoming activities in the next few weeks.

Image: Ms Thirsk recently reached a settlement to end her employment in the royal household

The move to WeWork’s building – which is about five minutes’ walk from its former base – underlines the determination of those behind the initiative to continue operating.

Events are being planned for this year in China, the Middle East and other parts of the world.

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It is unclear where future events in London will be staged, with the most recent one having been held at a luxury London hotel.

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A former banker, Ms Thirsk worked at Buckingham Palace for Prince Andrew from 2004 until last month, when she reached a settlement to terminate her role as his private secretary.

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Ms Thirsk had played a key role in shaping his work after he was forced to step down as the UK trade envoy in 2011.

His decision to give up the title of special representative for trade and investment followed earlier controversies involving Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell last year.

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While Ms Thirsk was partly blamed for the duke’s decision to conduct his disastrous November interview with the BBC, allies of the now-former royal aide praised her efforts to carve out a role for him that also benefited the UK economy.

One of Pitch@Palace’s priorities will be to recruit a new board, with most of the directors resigning in the aftermath of the Newsnight interview.

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Pitch@Palace says it has helped nearly 1,000 start-ups since being set up in 2014.

It also claims to have created almost 6,000 jobs since its inception and generated more than £1.1bn of new economic activity.

A string of corporate partners, including Barclays and KPMG, said they would not renew their association with Pitch@Palace after the duke’s interview, although in some cases the companies had decided to end their involvement before the recent crisis erupted.

Ms Thirsk declined to comment on Friday.

SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/pitchatpalace-hopes-for-new-lease-of-life-at-wework-building-11916789

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