The Mercers’ Company is the Premier Livery Company of the City of London and has a documented history stretching back over 700 years.
The Company, and its associated charitable trusts, make substantial grants in the areas of education, general welfare, church and faith and arts and heritage. A network of almshouses and other homes for the elderly are managed by the Company’s associated charitable trusts. The Company is also closely involved with the running of 17 schools across the country and supports them primarily through the appointment of governors.
The Company funds its activities from income derived from its investments, mainly property in London’s West End and the City. In Covent Garden this includes St Martin’s Courtyard, a joint venture with Shaftesbury PLC, at the junction of Long Acre and Upper St Martin’s Lane. This mixed use development is centered on a new public space surrounded by shops and restaurants. In the City the Company jointly owns the Royal Exchange with the City Corporation. Twice burnt down and rebuilt, the present building was designed by Sir William Tite in the mid-1840s. It was substantially redeveloped in 2001 and now houses luxury boutique shops, a courtyard bar and restaurant, and a series of office suites on the upper floors.